Are you trying to learn how to speak French? There are many tips for learning French that you can use in your learning.
French is the sixth most common language and it’s spoken on five continents. With over 220 million French speakers worldwide, you’ll be in good company.
Speaking French can open doors in the international job market and can make travel much easier.
Once you learn to speak French, you’ll find it easier to learn other Romance languages, like Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese.
Want to know how to immerse yourself in French so you can learn the language quickly?
Read on for the top 7 tips to learn French fast.
1. Start with Pronunciation
If you want to come across as a native speaker and be taken seriously, focus on pronunciation first.
Most guides will tell you to focus on grammar and vocabulary first. The reason why you want to focus on pronunciation first is that people have accent biases. They automatically find people with accents to be foreigners and don’t trust them.
They also won’t trust what you’re saying. If you have an important point to make, you’ll be taken less seriously because you have an accent.
The best way to learn pronunciation is to start with a good pronunciation guide that uses a tell, show, do method of teaching. You are able to read the phonetic pronunciation, listen to the proper pronunciation, and then try it yourself. If you want to learn more about it, read more here.
2. Get a Couple of Books
Once you have a good grasp of pronunciation, then you can focus on vocabulary and grammar.
You’ll definitely want to pick up a couple of grammar books and an English-French dictionary.
Odds are that you haven’t had a grammar lesson since the 4th grade. You’ll have to re-learn what a dangling participle is and a compound noun.
You can start with a basic illustrated grammar guide in English, so you can refresh your memory. Then move on to a grammar guide in French that will teach you how to conjugate verbs.
You English-French dictionary should be comprehensive and easy to use. There are illustrated dictionaries that you can buy, too.
3. Watch TV
Yes, you can immerse yourself in French just by being a media consumer.
The internet makes French media incredibly accessible. For example, you can watch France 24 to listen to French, as well as other French TV stations.
There are French podcasts, TED talks and radio stations that you can watch and listen to that will enhance your learning. You can also listen to music, and translate the lyrics.
The best way to watch TV in French is to have the subtitles on.
As you’re learning vocabulary and grammar, you’ll be able to read a few words and understand their meaning. You’ll eventually pick up more and more words as you listen.
4. Practice, Practice, Practice
The scariest thing about learning a new language is actually speaking it.
As you start to understand grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary, you’ll be able to put sentences together and apply what you’ve learned in conversation.
This is where your confidence will take a beating. You must keep in mind that you will make mistakes speaking. You’ll confuse words, forget words, put words in the wrong order.
That’s OK. No one gets it perfect the first time. Think of a child that’s learning to speak English. How many times do they say things incorrectly?
It’s all part of the process.
There are a few ways to start practicing French. You can join a Meetup group for French speakers. If there’s not one in your area, start one.
If you’re incredibly shy about speaking French with someone else, have a conversation with yourself. Pretend that you’re at a restaurant and want to order a meal is a good place to start.
5. Use Flashcards
Did you know that if you learn 1000 words, you’ll have learned about 80% of the words that you’ll use the most?
If you learn 2000 words, then you’ll be about 88% proficient in French.
Flashcards are a great way to learn the first 1000 words, especially when you use images. The mind processes images faster than text, so if you learn the first 1000 words visually, your recall will be much faster.
You can buy index cards and make your flashcards by hand, or you can use a computer program such as Anki to make your flashcards.
6. Make Learning Fun!
This is a simple fact: If learning is fun, you’re more motivated to learn, and you’re going to retain more information.
Learning to speak French on your own can be boring and tedious, especially if you’re working through a very dry grammar book.
If you want to make it fun, turn learning French into a game. You can play your favorite games in French or buy French version of board games.
You can also set goals for yourself in your learning and reward yourself.
7. Consistency is Key to Learning French
One of the most important tips for learning French is to be consistent. You don’t have to practice every day for 8 hours a day.
Some studies suggest that you study for 52 minutes and take a 17-minute break for maximum productivity.
The big challenge for most people will be fitting your studies into your schedule.
You might find that your idea time is to spend 30 minutes a day learning French. That’s fine, as long as you make it a daily practice.
If you do it sporadically, then you’re going to find yourself starting over a lot.
Tips for Learning French
Learning the French language can be a rich and rewarding experience.
It’s important to remember that learning a language is a process. There are days when you speak and understand French like a native speaker. There are days when you feel like an absolute beginner and you’re frustrated.
These tips for learning French are geared to help you learn the language quickly, so you’ll become a native speaker in no time.
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