So you want to learn to French – of course the best way is to attend a course, either online or at school and there are lots of great courses around which let you learn online at your own pace.
But – you can also help yourself in many different ways throughout the day, every day.
Here are some of our favourite tips to help you learn the French language the easy way:
Listen to French music! We like Paris Chanson, a digital radio station based in London which plays French classics from greats such as Edith Piaf, Charles Trenet and Maurice Chevalier. Those old school singers pronounced their words well – not like some singers today! (See for yourself – there’s a button to the right of this page – click it and listen).
Watch French films with the subtitles in English. You’ll be taking in the French subconsciously and hearing how words are enunciated which will really help you when speaking French plus you get to understand what’s going on in the film. When you progress to watching with no English subtitles you’ll be so pleased with yourself!
Read French books – start with children’s’ books where the words are simple and repetitive.
Write your shopping list out in French – you might have to look up the words a few times until you remember but it is an easy way to increase your vocabulary and when you are in France it will help you enormously.
When you are in a shop in France – if you don’t know the word for something ask, the staff are always happy to help (unless there is a huge queue behind you!)
Write your to-do list out in French – a bit harder and will involve some looking up in dictionaries or on Google, but if you get into the habit the words will start to come easier and you’ll get a feel for the grammar this way too.
In France, don’t be shy of speaking to people in French, so what if you get a word wrong – it really doesn’t matter that much, you may put a smile on someone’s face doing it but most French people are happy to correct you gently.
Talk French to each other! Did you know that in a recent survey about language 41% of the respondents said that French was the language that lit their passion! Introduce a little oh la la into your everyday life!
Start a French language group at work, get together in your lunch hour or after work and agree to speak only French to each other for the first 15 – 30 minutes – you’ll have to have a dictionary handy no doubt, and there may be a few silences but – once you get into the habit – it really does work!