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https://www.duolingo.com/KathrynSkywalker

How prepared do I NEED to be to go to France.....??

How prepared do I need to be to go to France? Should I master the Language first, or go completely unprepared? Please tell me what you think. Thank you!

Wow! I have gotten so much great feedback over the course of a few days! I have come to the conclusion that I should probably study some more before I go, given that I want to really experience the country to the fullest extent.

Once again, Thank you!!!!

2 years ago

27 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/DragonPolyglot
DragonPolyglot
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Well, to put it this way, both extremes are kinda outrageous. Mastering a language is very time-consuming and takes a large amount of years, while going unprepared is not only limiting yourself, it can be dangerous and confusing. If you're only touring in France, know some basic French. If you want to experience everything to a new level, learn enough to have a interesting conversation in French. I will say, knowing SOME French is really important if you want to go there and speak in French to the natives there.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bleusblue

For me, the main problem is not the speaking part. You may be able to ask simple questions, but will you understand the answer? You'll need pencil paper and dictionary along with some beginner French.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KathrynSkywalker

To DragonPolygot: Thank you! I know that my question options were pretty broad, but I wanted to know what everyone else would think and I have decided to study some, no, a LOT more French before I go.

P.S. Wow! You are studying quite a few languages!! Is it fun or super difficult or both to be doing them at the same time?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DragonPolyglot
DragonPolyglot
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Both. XD I like learning languages but it takes quite a bit of memory to learn them! I'm focusing on only a few right now, the rest is just for fun.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chaered
chaered
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Try reversing the situation in your head -- if someone on the street told you something like "hello! I have hungry, want buy breads, you know place for buy the breads, not far?" -- you could probably understand perfectly well that he is a guy looking for a bakery, even if this is clearly not a native speaker. Chances are, with some patience and using simpler words, that you could communicate. That level is enough to bootstrap yourself into learning by immersion. (Knowing more will just help to speed it up. But you need some basic vocab and pronunciation.)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mazsoIa
mazsoIa
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I myself will be going to France in two years! From what I've gathered, you'll definitely need to have a grasp on the language. No, you don't need to necessarily master it. By just knowing the basics will be a tremendous help. It also depends, how long are you going to be there? What is your reasoning to be there for? Are you going alone? When will you go?

My family has friends moving close to Paris. I'll be going there with my mother mostly to enjoy the famed City of Light. So, if I'm to buy a souvenir, it will be important to know the words for that, correct? No one wants to be scammed. Why, I may get hungry. Once again, I'll need to learn how to properly say my choices and exchange money safely. Common courtesy would be nice as well, even if it's just as simple as 'merci'.

Remember, there are multiple sources to learning French. When you're there, don't forget to enjoy the experience! Even if you make mistakes, you'll learn from them.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KathrynSkywalker

Thanks for the advice! As for you questions....I am not quite sure when I will go to France, but I am thinking that I will try to go somewhere in the course of the next five years. I will go with my Mom and Dad, and our goal is to experience the country and really get a taste of what it really is.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ElCoronelEsponja

It depends what you mean by "going to France". Do you mean to live, work or study, in which case you should definitely have a good grounding in the language (but need not be fluent; that can come later), or do you mean just for a vacation / holiday?

If the latter, you can go to France and have a great time without speaking a word of French. Many French people speak English, especially in the tourist industry. You will however have an even better time if you are able to speak French, as you'll be able to speak to locals in their own language, including in shops, at restaurants, asking directions as well as when making friends. You'll also find that most French people greatly appreciate any attempt by foreign visitors to speak their language, and you are likely to be treated with more welcome, kindness and patience than if you just speak at people in English.

Being able to speak the language will make the difference between your trip being a fun and interesting, but ultimately superficial, typical tourist experience, versus the opportunity to delve deeper into the culture and people of the country, and really get to know the place you're visiting.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KathrynSkywalker

Thanks. Merci. Gracias.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ElCoronelEsponja

Je t'en prie.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LanguageButcher

The question is what do you want to do? Do you want to just enjoy your vacation or do you want to immerse in the language? If you just want to enjoy, then do nothing. Most people in the tourist areas speak English. If you want to immerse in the language, my advice is to venture into the country and small cities. That way you are forced to speak french.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KellyShand
KellyShand
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Depends on if you're going for a vacation or for business or education. A vacation, no you don't need to master the language. Knowing how to read menus, street signs, metro maps very important. To ask directions, yes. It is polite to know certain phrases in the language of the country you're in. Please, thank you, excuse me, where is/are, you're welcome. For business you would be expected to know some language of the country beyond tourist knowledge. Education unless it's in an English speaking school quite fluent. I'm assuming you're asking because vacation. The Duolingo tree gives a pretty good overview of what I call Tourist French. I've been to Paris before and the first time I knew only direction French and yes, no, please....ect. Never got lost on the metro even though I didn't speak it then. :D Second time I knew more and was able to interact with people more.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KathrynSkywalker

Thank you. This has been a great help

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/helenvee
helenvee
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It depends what you want to do. The first time I went to France I had done a short French course but, although I could read and understand a bit and could put together a few basic sentences so I could ask for things like where the train left from or where I could get something to eat, I had no confidence so it was sometimes difficult. That said I've found when travelling in many places that as long as you know a few essential words and phrases in the language like 'how much is this', please, thank you, excuse me, good morning, good evening etc., and have a reasonable grasp of numbers, money, time and can recognise and read signs - and are prepared to mime where necessary - you can make yourself understood and travel anywhere safely. If you want to immerse yourself, though, and have detailed conversations and so on you certainly need to have a good knowledge of the language.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Persikov

You can go to France speaking almost literally no French, of course, it's not ideal and you could miss some good experiences or have some frustrations. The same as any other country, but since France is one of the world's biggest tourist destinations, they are used to people who don't speak the language.

I went to France with a weak level of French and I spoke in Spanish almost the whole time, except the trivial "One beer, please" or "How much is it?" However, being about to read signs, rules, museum placards, menus (sort of) was a big plus.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KathrynSkywalker

Merci. You have confirmed what lots of other people inside and outside of Duolingo have told me; You have to know how to say, 'How much is it?'. :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PhysiOrlag
PhysiOrlag
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Repeating what most people are saying here, it depends on what you want to do. Sun holiday lying by the pool in Nice - yeah, you can get way with just "bonjour". If you're planning on studying or living there, or even just a week in a city or country - I'd advise learning everyday verbs in the passé composé, present, future and a few in the imperfect tenses at the very least if language is your sole marker for a prospective trip to France. And when you're over there, don't be shy! Practise as much as you can, make a point of talking to people. I started German last year (stopped for months and only getting back into it now) and myself and my boyfriend booked a trip to Cologne. I forced myself to do the interacting with shop assistants and train inspectors in German and it really solidified what little German I know. On the other hand, my boyfriend wussed out and made me talk to people for him even though he's studying German here as well! (The only thing he learned was "ein Kolsch, bitte" when asking for beer XD ) So throw yourself in the deep end, go for it!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KathrynSkywalker

Thank you!! This has been a great help.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/philly17
philly17Plus
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Just learn the basics and you will survive. You will be 150 before you "will have mastered" the language unless you experience French life. There are people who have lived here on the Cote for 40 years and know hardly any French. When you are forced to speak it you learn very quickly.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/akvoyeux

I think the main think to focus on if you want to go to France is to focus on your understanding of the language: I would highly recommend to watch French films (at least 4 a week). That will help your ear to adapt to the French accent and to get used to the quickness (if it makes sense) of the language since a lot of French are fast speakers.

I would recommend films like: Intouchables Le destin d'Amelie Poulin Les Choristes (excellent film) La Haine (this one is particularly difficult to understand since it's mainly in slang, but an excellent film) OSS 117 (a comedy)

Then you can always watch some sketches on youtube by: - Le Studio Bagels - Golden Moustache - Suricate - Very Bad Blagues

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KathrynSkywalker

This is great advice. I don't think my local library has these, but I will definetly give them a try....If I can find them. Thanks!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dorotheap1

enough to enjoy yourself

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KathrynSkywalker

:)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/amjbrown

You will learn French fast in France. In Paris and the other major cities a blend of bad French and English will get you food and lodging. English skills diminish fast as you leave the metropolitan areas, but even as an expert the introduction of dialect and strong accent is equally problematic. Somehow the rural locals manage enough English to take your tourist dollars!

There is nothing more that (most) French people love than a visitor attempting to embrace their language and culture. They are passionate about both, and you will have a good time and learn a lot. So go now!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Klkkmklkm

My parents went to France with out knowing a single word of French. Everyone understood them. Almost every single person they met spoke English perfectly and fluently.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KathrynSkywalker

Cool. Thanks.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/thouixknits

I want to go with you!! Let's study first, though

2 years ago