Speaking French is both elegant and charming. People use to find this language very interesting due to its cultural side. However, when it comes to studying, not everyone likes it. People tend to say French is very difficult and its pronunciation is very hard to learn but, is it true? What’s the best way to learn French? It depends on where you come from:
French in the world
Nationalities that find it easy to learn French
Learning French would be rather simple for those people from countries with Romance roots, such as Latin America, Spain, Italy, Romania and Portugal.
Vocabulary may be very similar most of the times as well as grammar and verbs since they share common roots.
Nationalities that find it hard to learn French
Learning French may be a little harder if you come from a Germanic country, such as the USA, the United Kingdom and Germany.
Nationalities that find it very hard to learn French
Finally, it looks like we only have eastern languages left to cover the map. And it’s true, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Laotians… learning French is mostly very hard for these citizens, and it actually happens the same the other way around. The reason: completely different use of grammar and pronunciation.
It all depends on the roots!
What is the best way to learn French, the language of love par excellence?
Let’s see some ideas:
1. Living in a French-speaking country
Of course, the best way to learn French (or any language) is to live in a country where that specific language is official. There are 29 countries where speaking French is possible, mostly in Africa, Europe and North America.
If you can afford living in one of these countries, then do not hesitate! However, the truth is living abroad is quite expensive, although the experience is priceless. List of French-speaking countries:
|Democratic Republic of the Congo||France||Canada|
|Togo||Central African Republic||Republic of the Congo|
2. Absorb the culture you like the most
It is highly possible that if you start getting in touch with French culture you’ll fall in love sooner rather than later. I cannot really explain why, it just happens, it did happen to myself. I participated in a high school exchange with another lycée from Paris and, believe me, I just cannot get France out of my head since that moment.
It doesn’t have to be France, you can pick the culture you like the most, you have the list above! But again, we have the money issue, but there’s no need of visiting the country you want to learn about, the Internet is full of possibilities:
- Watch French films or TV series.
- Read French books.
- Watching the news would be a great practice.
- And what about listening to the radio?
3. Imitating the French accent
You’ll obviously need to learn grammar and vocabulary before, but as we previously said, French is not one of the hardest languages to that respect.
What makes it special is its pronunciation, their unique “r” and the way it sounds altogether, which makes poetry very intense, and many authors wanted to learn this classy language for this reason.
Pronunciation books tend to be a little bit expensive, but they’re definitely a great choice to improve fast. Key sounds:
- The “r” sound”: the most recognizable sound in French. Try to say, for instance, “rose,” you need to push your tongue to the back of your throat as if pronouncing a “gee” sound. Your “r” will turn out to be a rolled “rgrg.“
- The short “e”: like in “petit.” You need to place your mouth as if you were about to pronounce an “o” and then pronounce an “e.” Try yourself.
- The “u”: again, it is not the same as in English. You need to place your mouth as if you were about to pronounce an “i” and then pronounce a “u.” The English “u” is written “ou” in French. Now, try yourself.
My advice: go in front of a mirror and try over and over again until you do it right.
4. Meet French speakers in your city
French speakers are everywhere, I dare they’re not far away from you right now but, how to reach them? Let’s see three simple methods:
- Erasmus students: there are foreign students in every single University. Try asking your friends or find out if there is any sort of French speaking group at your or your friends’ Universities.
- Facebook groups: if you’re not attending to the University or there is no way for you to meet foreigners face to face, Facebook groups can be a great choice. There are a lot and anywhere, but if you don’t find the ideal group, you can always create yours!
- InterPals: one of the best social networks to meet people anywhere in the world. If you don’t find foreigners to practice your French with this one tool, there may not be any around!