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Learning French is one of the most rewarding things you can do for yourself this year. No matter where in Australia you live, if you become bilingual you’ll be able to access amazing opportunities in your professional life and meet incredible people that will change your life forever. On top of that, if you enjoy travelling, you’ll be able to get by much more easily in the more than 29 countries where French is spoken, which include places like Canada, France, and Senegal, and get to know the fascinating francophone cultures more in-depth. On the other hand, if you’re not planning on leaving Australia anytime soon, speaking the language will allow you to connect with the many French Australians who live around the country and learn about their traditions, which can be a really interesting way of expanding your knowledge of the relationship between French and Australian culture, as well as to socialise with members of the foreign-born community.
If you’ve tried to learn French in the past but had little success, take a look at this guide which has useful tips and recommendations to help you become a fluent speaker as fast as possible.
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1. Why Learn French Today?
Learning about all the advantages of studying French is one of the best ways to find the motivation you need to start learning this beautiful language, so to help you out, here are some of the best reasons why you should become a proficient French speaker this year.
To Communicate With Relatives
If you are of French ancestry and you’re trying to reach relatives who live abroad, learning French is one of the smartest things you can do. Once you become bilingual, there will be fewer language barriers between you and them, which will help you get to know them better and learn all sorts of interesting things about their culture. Additionally, you’ll be able to understand their humour, their traditions, and their cultural values, which can be crucial to really connecting with them and building a meaningful, long-lasting relationship. On the other hand, if it’s not you but your spouse who has family in a French-speaking country, learning their language can be a really nice way to show them you care about their heritage, and value the culture where they come from.
To Take Your Career To The Next Level
Australia has very productive economic relations with francophone countries like Canada and France, so if you’re a business person, learning French can be a really smart move. Once you master the language, you’ll be able to build useful professional relationships with people from all over the world and even reach international markets in Europe or North America. On the other hand, if you’re interested in landing a corporate position, learning French will increase your chances of getting a job at top French companies that operate in Australia like TotalEnergies, Eifagge, and L’Oreal as well as in local companies that are trying to expand abroad, so as you can see having this skill will make you much more employable.
To Travel Around The World
Learning French will help you experience countries like Cameroon, Burundi, Mali, the Ivory Coast, Switzerland and of course, France, in a totally different way, so it’s a great language to learn if you’re planning on travelling around the world. In addition to being able to connect to some of the more than 300 million people that are fluent in the language, you’ll be able to learn fascinating things about francophone cultures that most tourists miss because they depend on guides or translators to communicate with the locals. Moreover, if you become bilingual you’ll be able to get by more easily even in countries where French hasn’t got official status, as you’ll find that it’s pretty easy to find people who speak it as a second language, especially in European countries.
Planning on making a trip soon? Take a look at some of these articles from our blog:
2. Is French Hard to Learn?
Although this is one of the most common questions most people interested in learning French ask, there’s not a definitive answer to it. The truth is, how hard or easy you find it will depend on your natural ability to learn languages and your background. People who speak other Romance languages like Spanish or Portuguese, for example, often find it easier to understand French grammar than those who only speak English, but tend to struggle with its pronunciation. English speakers, on the other hand, have an advantage when it comes to learning vocabulary, as the two languages share many words like bachelor, homage, and cliché. In short, no matter what your language background is, instead of focusing on the difficult aspects of learning French, the smartest thing you can do is ask yourself why you want to start this journey to fluency in the first place, so you have all the motivation you need to become the proficient speaker you want to be and enjoy the learning process.
Want to read more about this? Check out What Are the Most Difficult Aspects of Learning French for English Speakers?
3. How to Learn French
Once you decide you want to learn French, there’s another decision you have to make and that’s whether you want to do it alone or find a tutor who can guide you through the learning process. If you’re an independent person, or you’re on a budget, you may be tempted to try to master this language on your own by using free resources online. However, if you do this you might end up feeling frustrated and unmotivated in the long run, especially since you’ll have to spend hours and hours planning your own lessons and trying to find updated materials that you can use. That’s why, if you’re committed to becoming a proficient French speaker as quickly as possible, your best choice is to book a course with a qualified native French tutor. To prove this, here are some of the reasons why studying with a teacher is the best way to go:
You Get a Lot of Practice Time
Unlike self-taught students who spend most of their time alone, by studying with a tutor you’ll get plenty of opportunities to boost your conversational skills. This will ensure you actually feel ready to talk to native speakers and don’t end up like those learners that can’t make a coherent sentence once they have to put their skills to the test.
You Can Ask as Many Questions as You Want
If you study with a tutor, you won’t have to spend time having to google your questions about the language and instead you’ll get to ask a professional everything you want to know. This will help you learn valuable information that is not easy to find, and it will help you make more progress more quickly.
One of the biggest reasons why you should study French with a teacher is because of the valuable feedback they can give you, which will help you identify the areas you need to work with as well as those you’re good at. This can radically change the speed at which you learn, as you’ll be able to learn from your mistakes and pay attention to those aspects of the language that are the most challenging for you.
Stay Focused and Motivated
The reason why so many language learners quit every year is that once the enthusiasm wears off, they feel unmotivated to keep going. That’s why it’s so important to have a tutor who understands how you feel and knows exactly what to tell you to help you find the strength to keep at it and reach your language goals.
4. Should You Take Group or Individual Lessons?
There are different kinds of lessons, and which one you choose will depend on the goals you want to achieve, your learning style and your personal preference. To help you choose the one that is most suitable for you, let’s take a look at the differences between group and individual lessons.
Are you someone who enjoys having many language partners to socialise with while you learn? If so, you may want to book one of our French Group Lessons. These are much more affordable than individual ones and are ideal for people who have no problem adapting to other learners’ schedules and who want to have more opportunities to experience cultural exchanges during the class. Another big benefit from these lessons is you’ll get to learn from your peers, and have more varied conversations while you learn, which can be really stimulating and fun.
If you have clear goals you want to achieve, like learning French to advance your career or sit for an international exam, then you would really benefit from individual lessons. These are ideal for learners who want complete control of the content of lessons, as well as the schedule, so if this is you, don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll help you find the best course for you.
5. Resources to Learn French For Free
Although there’s nothing like studying with a tutor, there are many resources you can use on your own to expand your knowledge of the language in your free time and improve your skills. Don’t know where to start? Take a look at some of the most useful free materials you can find online:
Level Tests are a great way to measure your skill level, which can be extremely useful to know which resources you should be using, so if you’re not sure exactly how good your language abilities are, take our FREE French Level Test now and find out how much you score.
Immerse in French Culture as much as you can by watching French films and TV shows. If you don’t know any, take a look at these 5 Binge-Worthy Netflix Shows You Can Watch in French and these 8 Films that Will Inspire You to Learn French.
Listening to Podcasts is another great way to boost your listening skills and pick up useful phrases in French. Here are 4 Immersive Podcasts in French to Boost Your Language Skills.
6. Tips to Improve Your French Pronunciation
French pronunciation can be one of the hardest things for native English speakers to master, due to its many liaisons, which are sounds French speakers make to link words, its intonation, and its many silent letters. To make it easier for you to sound more like a native, here are some useful tips to improve your pronunciation.
Pay Attention to French Intonation: If you want to sound more French, you’ll have to work on your intonation. Because it’s very different from English intonation, the best thing you can do is to get as much exposure to the language as you can and, pay special attention to the words native people stress when they talk, as well as the way their tone rises and falls when they say different phrases.
Learn About Liaisons: In order to link words and sound more fluid, French speakers change the ending of certain consonant sounds. Although it can be challenging at first, there are many rules you can learn to remember when you need to change a sound, for example, all words that end with an x or an s, become a z sound when they are followed by another word.
Increase the Tension In Your Mouth: To make certain French sounds correctly, like the ones in words like riz or vie, you’ll have to really emphasize the tension in your mouth in a way most English speakers are not used to.
Speak Slowly: When you first start speaking French, you should try to speak as slowly so you can focus on getting the sounds right. By doing this, native speakers will understand you better and you’ll have enough time to formulate all your sentences correctly.
Watch Out for Nasal Vowels: In French, nasal vowels are used to distinguish words, so you really have to pay attention when you use them. For example, if you nasalize the eau syllable in the word beau, French speakers will think you’re trying to say bon, which has a completely different meaning.
Learn New Sounds: There are plenty of sounds in French that don’t exist in English, including vowel sounds, consonant sounds, and plenty of nasal vowels. Because it’s very easy to not get them right, the best thing you can do to master them is to book a course with a qualified French tutor who can help you sound like a native in a short time.
Want to read more about French pronunciation? Check out some of these articles on the matter on our blog:
7. How to Expand Your French Vocabulary
If you’re finding it hard to remember words in French and you’re tired of memorizing long lists of words, take a look at these fun ways of expanding your vocabulary you can start using right now.
Read A Lot
One of the best methods to learn new French words is to read as much as you can. By reading the same words and phrases over and over again, you’ll be able to new vocabulary in context, which is much more effective than simply memorizing lists of words. To make the best use of this simple method, it’s best you write down every new word you find on a notebook or app and then look them up in a dictionary like Le Dictionnaire vivant de la langue française or Dictionnaire Français en ligne - Larousse. If you do this, your vocabulary will expand in no time.
Look Up Words That Relate To Yourself
When you first start learning a language, it can be tough to decide what kind of words you should learn first. In addition to basic vocabulary like greetings, simple questions, and ways of introducing yourself, you should look up words that relate to yourself. For example, if you love playing basketball and it’s a big part of your life, you could start by looking up words that help you talk about that subject, so you can make sentences like “I’m a basketball player” or “The basketball final is on Sunday” in French. Learning about topics that are important to you will not only keep you motivated but will also help you remember new words and phrases more easily, as you’ll establish an emotional connection with what you’re studying and use these expressions in your everyday conversations.
An efficient way to memorize new words is to use flashcards. Although it can seem old-fashioned to use them, nowadays you don’t even have to make your own deck, as there are amazing apps like Anki, Tinycards, or Quizlet where you can find really useful flashcards made by other French learners. If you develop the habit of studying with flashcards every week, you’ll be able to remember new French words effortlessly, so if you’ve never tried them, try any of these apps out and you won’t regret it.
Want more tips? Take a look at 5 Free Resources to Improve Your French Vocabulary.
8. French Survival Phrases
Visiting France soon? If so, take a look at some of these useful French phrases that will help you get by more easily.
|Excuse me, where’s the…?
|Excusez-moi, où est…?
|Where is the closest metro station?
|Où se trouve la station de métro la plus proche?
|One ticket, please.
|Un billet, s’il vous plaît.
|Do you speak English?
|Vous parlez anglais?
|I need a doctor who speaks English.
|J’ai besoin d’un médecin qui parle anglais.
|My name is…
|What’s your name?
| Comment vous appelez-vous? (formal)
Tu t’appelles comment? (informal)
|Nice to meet you.
|I am from…
| Je suis de…
Je viens de…
|Where do you live?
|I live in…
|I don’t understand.
|Je ne comprends pas.
|I don’t know.
|Je ne sais pas.
|How do you say ____ in French?
|Comment dit-on ____ en français?
|How are you?/ What’s up?
|Comment ça va?/ Ça va?
|I’m sorry, but I have to go.
|Je suis désolé(e), mais je dois y aller.
|See you later!
|À plus tard!
|Sorry, but I gotta run!
|Désolé(e), mais je dois filer!
|Thank you/Thanks a lot/Thank you very much.
|Merci/ Merci beaucoup/ Merci bien.
|Je vous en prie.
Want to learn more phrases? Take a look at these Essential French Phrases You Need To Know Before You Travel To France and these 5 French Slang Terms to Know in Order to Speak Like a Native.
Are you ready to become a fluent French speaker? If so, send us a quick enquiry today, and one of our team members will get in contact with you within 24 hours to help you find the perfect French course that fits all of your requirements.
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”Everything is going very well with Nasser, he has structured our lessons so that we learn how to construct correct sentences, not just learn some phrases. Very happy.”French course in Cairns
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