Extent of the French Language. Lesson Introduction. 02 Leçon Apprendre le français Reasons To Learn French, Book Organization. Advice on Studying. Learn French at Home, created in by Céline and Vincent Anthonioz, has helped trip to a French speaking country, or whether you need it to work on any . language with many sample sentences, informal and slang vocabulary, as well as information about French pronunciation for speakers of American English.
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CONTENTS AT A GLANCE. Part 1: The Very Basics. 1. 1 The Top Ten Reasons You Should Study French. Helps you figure out why French is the language for. This is your easy to use list of English to French words and phrases to use while The French language is a very formal language, and the French appreciate. Most people actually give up on their dream of learning French or any second language because traditional classroom instruction is just too much of a hassle.
But in fact, once you overcome some of the initial unfamiliarity and begin to get a feel for the language, it is actually one of the easiest languages for English speakers to learn. In this section, we'll examine some of the main reasons French is not especially difficult for native English speakers to learn: 1.
French And English Have A Lot Of Words In Common There is one single fact about French that makes it an easy language for speakers of English to pick up and that is that the two languages share a huge amount of vocabulary. Since the Norman conquest of Britain in , English has been heavily influenced by French, so an estimated one-third of English words now come from French.
This simplifies the task of acquiring large amounts of vocabulary as you'll quickly find that you already know many French words from English. Learners who are just starting out will find that many words in English are exactly the same as in French while others change only slightly.
Even better, many of these words are common, every-day words that you will use often. This means that many modern words are also the same in French as in English — although pronounced with a French accent.
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Here are some examples: Finally, there are some words which come from French and which have taken on a slightly new meaning in English.
However, English-speaking kitchens and restaurants have retained the use of some French terms for positions such as sous-chef, sommelier and so on. This closeness of French and English has created a problem, however, in that French and English share an unusually high number of faux amis, or false friends too.
These are words that look the same but have a different meaning. However, this presents no great problem. As a French learner, you'll soon come to spot these hidden traps. There are a few other areas of French which have a reputation of being difficult but even these are not so difficult when you really look at them.
Take word gender, for example. While in general, there is no way of telling from a noun whether it is masculine or feminine, there are some tips that will help you remember, or at least have an educated guess at a word's gender. Almost all nouns ending in -aison, -sion, -tion or -xion are feminine Most nouns ending in a consonant are masculine.
There are exceptions, of course — but these kinds of tips can help you get started without being overwhelmed. And even if you get it wrong, don't worry!
After all, this is something that doesn't really exist in English. However, learning conjugations is not particularly difficult.
Most verbs follow the same patterns so you'll quickly get used to how French verbs work. You'll also notice in the example above that even though the spelling changes, the pronunciation of 4 of the 6 forms is exactly the same! This makes things a lot easier than they first might seem, at least when speaking. There are also different verb tenses to learn — but, the basic French tenses, are not particularly difficult to understand even if they are different from English It's simply a case of paying close attention when listening and reading.
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Unless you learn your second language from a very young age, it is almost impossible to ever achieve native-level pronunciation. Even somebody who marries a person from a foreign country then moves to that country and lives there for twenty years speaking that language every day will still speak with a hint of an accent.
What does this mean for you as a learner? It means that it's ok not to have perfect pronunciation in French. Speaking with a perfect accent is not a realistic objective and however long you learn, the moment you open your mouth, people will probably know where you are from.
The point is to pronounce the words as best you can and well enough that people can easily understand what you're trying to say. Many students focus too much energy on perfecting their accent, which can actually slow your progress.
It is important to remember that perfect pronunciation is never your goal. Your goal should be clear and intelligible pronunciation, and if you can accept this, then you have taken one more step toward acquiring a new language. In French, there are really only two sounds that English-speaking learners need to master from the beginning and after that, the rest is just fine tuning.
However, the first thing to remember is that there is no need to be intimidated by this sound - most people are able to produce a passable imitation of the French 'r' from the beginning and French speakers will be able to understand you. Keep at it and you'll only improve with time. Learning new sounds is like going to the gym, it's difficult at first and you won't see immediate results on Day 1.
But if you continue to practice over time to it becomes easier. The French 'r' actually has more than one sound, depending on where it's located in a word. These sounds are nothing like an English 'r' but neither are they like the Spanish one which is almost a purring noise made by vibrating the tongue against the roof of the mouth.
The French 'R's comes from deeper in the throat and are a little similar to the sound made when clearing one's throat - except softer and less harsh. The first sound is normally used are the beginning of a word, for example in rester, meaning 'to stay'. The second sound normally appears when 'r' follows another consonant in French, for example in the word proche, meaning 'nearby'.
This sounds very complicated but it's actually completely normal! We have the same thing in English with the letters 's' and 'z'. One is voiced and the other is voiceless. But because English uses two different letters to represent the sounds, we don't realise!
The difference in French is that both sounds get represented by a single letter. Here's what you need to do to produce the French 'R' sounds correctly: Try to partially close the back of your throat, keeping your tongue in the middle and not touching the roof or your mouth Blow air out from deep in your throat again, almost as if you were trying to clear your throat.
The best way to practice these sounds is with a recording or with a native French speaker, so you can listen to the sound you should be trying to reproduce. Practicing often and don't worry if you can't get these sounds right at first. The more you speak French, the better you'll get at these pronunciations. For most people, once this difference has been pointed out, the problem quickly evaporates with a little practice.
These two sounds are the ones that are likely to leave French people scratching their heads or perhaps giggling depending on what you have just said. Just practise a few words while listening to a recording, you'll soon be able to master the differences.
One final tip is not to fall into the trap of letting written French spoil your pronunciation. Listen carefully to the way native speakers pronounce words and try to replicate them. Listen, too, to the rhythm and the melody of the language and try to copy it.
Just like any other language, French has its own rhythm and intonation. You'll pick up on this over time and the more you do so the better and more natural your French will sound. This is mainly because experienced language learners know how to learn a language. Here are a few tips to help you avoid some of the mistakes many new language learners make.
While learning a language absolutely involves acquiring large amounts of new words, learning random lists of vocab is probably the single most inefficient way of doing it. When you learn a language, you should focus on learning the words you're actually likely to need. Just because your textbook has a list of the words for different body parts or types of clothing doesn't necessarily mean they're important.
Focus on learning words you're likely to use in conversation rather than getting hung up on memorising the French for things like 'eyebrows' or 'shoelace'.
You learn new words by being exposed to them in a variety of different contexts. Focus on noting down the key words that are most important to you and practice them in context as much as possible. For example, when reading a book or a newspaper in English you'll come across many words that you might not be able to define exactly, but you are still able to understand their overall meaning from the context in which they appear. This should be the same in a second language. Try to understand the meaning of the word from its context.
Learning words in this way helps to fix them in your long-term memory too because you develop a better understanding of the context in which they're used. If you wait until you can speak a language perfectly before you start speaking, you'll never start speaking. A great place to start speaking is italki. This site allows you to find French tutors from all over the wolrd and book lessons or speaking sessions with them. Focus on writing down only the most important words you come across and take the time to review them regularly.
It's far more useful to have a small list of really important words you review regularly than a long list you never look at! Forgetting is simply part of the learning process so don't get too down or frustrated when things don't stick right away. Accept that you are allowed to forget things and your learning will be much faster. Aim for clear and intelligible pronunciation and leave it at that. Over time, your pronunciation will continue to improve but this takes months and months of using the language regularly.
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But in fact, once you overcome some of the initial unfamiliarity and begin to get a feel for the language, it is actually one of the easiest languages for English speakers to learn. Learning French through PDF lessons can dramatically reduce your data use. Once you download French lessons in PDF format to your smartphone, PC or favorite media device, they are yours to use and keep forever.
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