What's the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about the French language?
Is it the nouns with gender? Or is it the long list of conjugated verbs? You might think of the sound of the French language. You might also think of the different word order i.e. most adjectives come after nouns in French.
I told my French colleague, Clément, that I think French can be a complicated language sometimes, and he said: "French is a lot easier to learn than you think!" And he shared some tips on how to learn French like a native.
If You Are A Native English Speaker...
French is one of the easiest languages for native English speakers to pick up. However, the complicated verb conjugation and the differences in word order or pronunciation might still scare some people away.
Why don’t we focus more on the similarities between these two languages? It’s calculated that English and French share up to 27% of their vocabulary, which includes loanwords and cognates. Despite the fact that they belong to two different branches of Indo-European languages, both languages share Latin roots. They sometimes use similar grammatical structures as well.
How do French Children Learn French?
According to Clément, children in France never have to memorize the long list of conjugated verbs. Well, some degree of memorization is involved, but it’s solely for the purpose of spelling. They learn the rules by using and speaking the language every day. Even Clément has to look up how verbs are conjugated from time to time. According to him, they only remember the ones they use frequently.
Another thing that French learners might have a problem with is deciding which article défini to go with the noun. Most of us learn it by memorizing what words are masculine and what words are feminine. Then we apply the correspondent definite article to the noun. But guess what? French children don’t learn them separately. When they learn those words, they learn them with the definite article that goes with them. For example, instead of memorizing “confiture” as a feminine word, they see it as “la confiture.” When you start looking at le article défini and the noun as one thing, you won’t have to worry about memorizing the gender of nouns.
What Happens When You Don’t Live in France?
We all know the best way to learn a language is to move to a place that speaks the language. It increases your exposure to the language as well as forcing you to get out of your comfort zone.
Not everyone has the means to travel or live abroad just to have the ideal language learning environment. So how do you learn French if you can't move to France just yet? There are a few things you can do to make sure you are still using the language as often as you can.
1. Find a person to practice with
The ideal case would be to have someone who speaks your target language at the native level. If you can’t find someone to practice with in person, you can always find language exchange partners online.
If you really can’t find someone to practice with you, you can still use it in your day to day activities even your conversations. It’s okay if people don’t understand you, it helps just by saying the words aloud and apply it to real-life situations.
2. Take advantage of technology and the internet
Instead of watching a movie or your favorite TV show in your native language, try switching it to your target language. Or you can start watching more movies or shows made in your target language.
If you want to learn some everyday French phrases and slang, make sure you take a look at these shows recommended by Clément:
It's also a good idea to swith the language on your computer or phone to your target language. You can change the language settings on your Internet browser and social media accounts as well. This way you get used to seeing and using the language on a daily basis.
3. Glossika’s immersive language learning method
By using Glossika as your language training resource, you will be able to mimic the way a child acquires a language while getting optimal results by immersing yourself in your target language on a daily basis.
Knowing and master French verb conjugation can be challenging. However, the more you use them, the more clear you will be. Glossika shows you how to use verbs are conjugated in real-life conversations. Our spaced repetition training build up your understanding of the grammar by familiarizing you little by little with various sentence structures and patterns.
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