How to Learn French
This flowery language is renowned by many linguistic scholars as one of, if not the most beautifully spoken language in the world. This articulate dialect has even earned the nickname among linguistic scholars as the “language of love.” The most difficult of the Romantic Languages, French is recognized as one of the most sought after languages to master.
Due to aggressive colonization tactics of France during the Middle Ages, French is a very widely spoken language. Sporting approximately 270 million speakers worldwide, French is spoken as a first language in France, Monaco, French speaking areas of Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Acadia, and various scattered communities. French is the most spoken language in many African countries as well including Gabon, Mauritius, Algeria, Cote d’lvoire, Djibouti, Niger, Senegal, Cameroon, and Madagascar. In total, there are 29 countries (referred to by the French as La Francophonie) in which French is considered an official language.
If you plan on spending anytime in France, it is highly recommended that you learn the language. The French population is notorious for their stubbornness and rudeness to foreigners who do not understand their language. These people will expect proper pronunciation and a good French vocabulary, or you will experience hostility and a degrading attitude from most of the local population. A proper understanding of the French language will also allow for communication with citizens of Quebec and many African countries who acknowledge French as their national language.
French is also the native tongue of some of the most influential philosophers, scientists, and artists of all time. The French Revolution was one of the most extreme turning points in human history. The people rose up and united to overthrow one of the most powerful countries on the planet, and in the process introduced the world to a crazy idea called “Democracy.” Jean Cocteau, Colette, Voltaire, René Descartes, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau are just some of the magnificent writers and philosophers who composed their works in French. Understanding the French language will allow for you to understand the passion in which these brilliant minds were writing and better assist you in appreciating their greatest works.
One of my favorite French learning tools is the book, Talk Dirty French: The Curses, Slang, and Street Lingo You Need to Know When You Speak Francais. An understanding of colloquial terms and phrases that native speakers use on a daily basis will allow for your French to sound much more natural and less like a tourist. Knowledge of French slang is imperative if you want to temporarily merge flawlessly into French society.
Another great method for practicing French is to read French short stories and myths. Plume’s E-Bookshop, provides a collection of fairy tales and other short stories written in basic French. These stories provide a fun, relaxing opportunity to practice your French. Plume’s E-bookshop also have more advanced reading material such as the Greek myths relating to Pandora, Orion, Prometheus, and many others. These myths will provide a foundation to understand one of the world’s most innovative civilizations, as well as a superb opportunity to practice your French.
French is one of the more difficult of the Romantic languages, but it is still a very popular second language among English speakers. This means that it should not be difficult for you to find a speaking partner! With a small amount of daily practice and effective interactive language learning software, French can be mastered by anyone. Rosetta Stone is known throughout the linguistic community as the benchmark in language learning software, and the voice recognition software will even be able to coach you on your accent!
Of the 270 million French speakers worldwide, 190 million of them speak French as a second language. This statistic makes French the second most studied foreign language trailing only English. As a result of its popularity and widespread native use, demographic projections indicate that by 2025, French will be represented by 500 million speakers. French is renowned for its beauty, but representing the second most learned foreign language, it’s practicality is second to none.