Curious about learning French for travel? There are so many great resources to help you on your way!
Curious about learning French for travel? That's a great idea! French remains one of the most popular languages to learn in the world. There are around 63 million French speakers in France alone, and approximately 285 million speakers worldwide. So if French is the language you're considering next, then you're going to be in good company!
Here are some tips and tricks to consider when you first begin to learn French. So for now, bonne chance!
French of different flavours
The first thing that is probably worth mentioning is that, like English, French will be different depending on where you are hearing, learning, and using it. And this is especially true because French is actually spoken as an official language in 27 countries around the world aside from Canada and France. But don't let that put you off! Standard, or Metropolitan French, as it is sometimes called, will still get you far. The question, then, is where do you start?
Get your ear in
Whether you aim to learn French through a podcast like any of those found on www.french-podcasts.com, new music, or a French film discovery on Netflix with subtitles, get used to the sound of French so that you can start to get used to it. It's far better to get your audio immersion in a language using material that is of interest to you than to just listen to any old thing that would have you tuning out in your own tongue.
Find something of interest, watch videos on Youtube, or listen, if it's your thing, to the French-spoken news on things like France24 in France or go to www.ici.radio-canada.ca to hear what French-speaking Canada has to say. Listening is often the hardest thing for any language learner to master, so if you get that right from the beginning, who knows what you could achieve?
Know your needs
There are hundreds of websites and books proclaiming to have the ultimate list of must-have vocabulary for any language, and with some of those words, that is probably, at least in some sense, true. But what you really have to get used to is the idea that there isn't a definitive word list. Learn what French you need for you! Language course providers like the one found at www.languagetrainers.ca really do their best to tailor your learning experience to exactly that.
Think about it. How much easier is it to wax lyrical or speak non-stop about a subject you're interested in or an expert of? Do you bore friends and family to tears with your knowledge of pop culture? Win all the cheeses when playing Trivial Pursuit without even having to blink? Then these might be the perfect things to think about in terms of what vocabulary and style of lessons is right for you. Because when you're excited, you learn more, and to tell your stories you'll need to pick up the words that fall in between the ones you're interested in imparting. The terrific thing, too, is that in an age of technology, there are so many different ways to get started and find what works best for you. MosaLingua is great for vocab, and FluentU is great for instruction.
Regardless of the decision you make, you’ll be amazed at how, out of nowhere, you'll be constructing confident sentences for your new (hopefully) captive audience. See how easy, and fun learning French can be?
Be kind to yourself
You aren't going to get anywhere if you set unrealistic targets or set no targets at all. Why promise yourself a hundred new French words a day on top of mastering irregular verb conjugation when you'll be burnt out from it by mid-week? Set manageable goals, keep a track of what you know already and be amazed at how far you've come, instead of worrying how much further you have to go.
Above all, the best advice anyone can give you for learning French is to enjoy it, have fun with it, and don't allow yourself to get caught up on individual words. Before you know it you'll be holding all sorts of new conversations. On y va!
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