10 Best Tips To Learning French With Confidence
In this week's post, I just wanted to share with everyone the 10 Best Tips To Learn French With Confidence.
I have to tell you, though, it's been pretty hard to compile all the tips that I've come across and select the best ones. But, I think the work has paid off. These tips are taken from many different websites that I've cited at the end of the post. They all displayed great tips, and I thank them for it!
So, here are your 10 Best Tips To Learning French With Confidence! Enjoy!
AUDIO IS KEY
Here’s the part where I’ll tell you to listen as much to radio, film dialogue, music, audiobooks and the like as much as possible. Sure, you may have heard it countless times before, but there’s one reason why it’s so often repeated. It works. Audio immersion will not only help you to improve your comprehension, but it’ll also help you to improve your natural use of expression.
There are loads of great French language audio resources out there, and one place to start is here.
So what about listening to pronunciation?
Glad you asked. This is where audio becomes really important — but it needs to be high quality audio.
For those of you learning with the Lingvist French course, the audio for it was designed with this in mind; each audio-pixel has been digitally calibrated for accuracy, clarity, and natural tone. Be sure to listen to those charming French voices!
IN WITH THE NEW DOESN'T MEAN OUT WITH THE OLD
It might seem like a no-brainer, but repetition is important. It’s this repetition that moves new information into short-term memory and keeps it in circulation once it’s been stored in your long-term memory.
Language learning is a lot like keeping fit — if you don’t use your muscles, you’ll lose your muscles, so doing those reps is important. But, you can do them in efficient and smart ways to get the most out of your learning time. Luckily we live in a time when technology has brought learning to a whole new level, and advances like machine learning and AI can help us by reminding us of those words we’ve been struggling with just as we’re about to forget them.
Occasionally reviewing what you’ve already learned has the added benefit of showing you how far you’ve come, too. Looking back at older material will for you to step away from the “now” and get some instant perspective on how much you’ve learned. That can be really motivating — and will give you a chance to give yourself a pat on the back.
FOCUS ON THE EASIER ASPECTS OF FRENCH TO GET YOU GOING
French really isn’t easier or harder to learn than any other language, but you can quickly forget this if you only focus on the difficult aspects of French.
Whenever you get discouraged, think about all of the ways that French is actually an easy language to learn:
French is an easy language because it:
- Has no cases (nominative, accusative, etc), unlike Russian.
- Is not a tonal language, unlike many African and Asian languages.
- Shares a lot of vocabulary with English due to their intertwined histories.
- Uses the Latin alphabet.
- Only has two noun genders, unlike German, which has three.
Remember these facts when you’re learning how to speak French, and the tougher aspects of the language suddenly won’t seem so bad!
DON'T TRY TO LEARN EVERYTHING = PRIORITIZE
Often, to make learning more fun, we try to present a text, a story. At least I do, as much as possible.
If your memory is great, go ahead and memorize everything!
But if it’s not the case, PRIORITIZE: what words in this story are YOU likely to use? Focus on learning these first, then revisit the story once you’ve mastered your first list.
The same logic applies to tenses: in conversation, most of the time we use the present indicative. So focus on the present when studying your French verb conjugations, and then move on to adjectives, essential vocabulary, asking questions, pronouns… things that will make an immediate difference in your ability to converse in French.
The French subjunctive can wait!
MOTIVATION IS NECESSARY
The very first step in any language learning process is deciding that you will make the effort and put the time in to studying a new language. There’s no magic formula! Learning a new language takes time, dedication, hard work, and one can face some frustration sometimes.
When you start something new, usually, the novelty of it keeps you interested. Even little progress that you make, helps keep you be motivated for studying further.
But, what happens when the novelty wears off, and when you don’t see yourself making that progress that you want? Maybe, you get stuck for a while, you’re not moving forward as fast as you’d like. Or, you’re just struggling with a specific language feature – remembering a word or a grammar rule.
Things such as these can make language learning very frustrating. You need to have something that will encourage you to keep going.
Motivation is the key ingredient to successful language learning. When I decide that I want to learn a new language, I ask myself this question:
How can learning to speak this language change my life?
Asking this question is important for me because it gives me reasons for wanting to learn a language in the first place. Having reasons to learn French is a great motivation. Maybe you have some of your own:
- Will it help your career?
- Do you want to make traveling easier?
- Do you want to challenge your mind?
- Want to surprise your loved ones?
- Do you want to meet people from other cultures?
- Is learning French on your New Year’s resolution list?
- Something else?
Whatever your reasons might be, remember them in moments when you feel stuck, or when you experience frustration. It is very easy to give up when your motivation wears off.
Also, remember to maintain your momentum. Momentum is key to maintaining motivation. This is how it works:
You learn new things ⇨ You start using things that you learned ⇨ You see your achievement ⇨You are motivated further ⇨ You learn more ⇨ and so on …
TRAVEL TO A FRENCH-SPEAKING COUNTRY
If living there isn't an option, then visiting is the second-best. If you have the finances and ability to take des vacances, bring your books and CDs with you!
Talk to the locals and experience the culture. Sitting at the McDonald's next to the Louvre (or the Starbucks, for that matter) won't exactly get you the educational or cultural experience you're looking for.
You don't have to go to France to find a wealth of French speakers. However, know what dialect you're looking to mirror; going to Quebec will expose you to a French culture, but you'll hear Quebecois down the street--and it may be hard to understand!
READ IN FRENCH
When you see how the experts write, you will begin to pick up on patterns they use. If you are not very advanced, look for children’s books, such as fairy tales or comics. Asterix et Obelix and Tintin are two popular French comics series.
When you read in French, you become familiar with grammar. Don't even get me started on how much vocabulary knowledge you can gain!
If you're feeling adventurous, go ahead and start reading those French chapter books! If you want to really expand your vocab, take a look at some of the older French novels. They may use more advanced vocabulary and other terms that will really up your game.
Dialogue in a textbook is important for many reasons. It can be read, written down, and most importantly, practiced aloud. Take turns reading through both sides of the conversation. Pronounce the best you can, and research words that you don’t understand. Get used to the way this feels.
Make your own French Dialogue!
Once you’ve gotten more comfortable with the pronunciation of words, even just to yourself, you’ll want to use those words to form sentences of your own.
Pull out sentences from dialogue and make them true for yourself. You might also try mixing them around into a different structure. for example, you could transform a statement into a question to practice your inquiry skills.
Or, you might take a sentence where someone agrees and turn it into a sentence where that person disagrees. Then, explain yourself and pretend you’re disagreeing with someone in a real, thought-provoking conversation.
These exercises will help you navigate the world of fluid French speaking.
FIND A WAY TO MAKE FRENCH FUN
As with anything, if you’re going to stick to it, you have to find a way to make it fun.
Find people you enjoy talking to. Go to events where you can practice while doing something fun. Don’t just sit in a classroom in front of a book, or you’re likely to burn out fairly quickly. Talk about personal topics which you care about. Find out about the person you’re talking to.
This is closely related to motivation. You're only going to stay motivated if the experience is a fun one. Why would you do it at all if it wasn't going to be something you enjoyed?
Make it a personal, life experience, or else you’re going to be in for a long, unenjoyable process which will likely end up in you forgetting everything you learned.
TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS
Remember that language is about meaning. A lot of what I’m suggesting here is for the sake of providing context for your knowledge, and context is ultimately what determines the “correctness” of what you’re doing. After all, you wouldn’t speak French to the ticket agent at Tokyo Station in Japan. No matter how authentic your accent or proper your grammar may be, it would be wrong!
The point here is to think in terms of ideas instead of words. Words exist to express ideas.
When you’re learning French, what you’re really learning is how ideas are expressed by French-speaking people. Bearing this in mind, the ideas that you are going to express can still be 100% yours. This means that you are the final court of appeal when it comes to the question of your success.
It isn’t about how many words you know or how many books you’ve read. It’s about whether or not you can say, write and comprehend the ideas that matter to you. Remember this when you are trying to gauge your progress and plan your next steps.
The question is not, “What’s the next thing I need to do?”
The question is, “Where do I want to go now?”
Thank you SO much for reading this post. Let me know in the comments if they helped! I hope they did!
Here are the links for all the sites I used. They are great sites and will all likely help in your journey towards French MASTERY! You can visit them on your own time if you'd like to as well.
A special shout-out to this site, which more than one of the tips came from!
Again, thanks for reading! I'll see you again in next week's post!
Merci beaucoup, a very helpful post, am replying to say thanks and as a way to bookmark it at the same time. Have 5 lingots!
Thank you for this, I can't wait to explore the sites you've listed! I've been learning French for a bit, but this is the best I've learned aside from being in france.
Thank you! Yes, it's really the sites that did the work. I just compiled the best ones. These sites have really nice info that can help you on your journey to language mastery!
Wow, this was very helpful, not to mention, motivating in itself- thanks for writing it, it was quite considerate of you to share these tips with us!
There really is no need for that, but thanks anyway! I'm happy you liked it.
Excellent recommendations some of which can be applied to just about any language one wants to learn not just French
Yes, that's true. I was thinking of adding that at the end of the post, but I decided not to. You can use almost all of these for any language! French is just an example!
Thank you so much for this post, I had a bit of trouble going back to French while learning other romance languages that come to me a bit more easily. Thank you for compiling advice and great resources!
Yes! I heavily recommend you look into FLUENTU on this, as the tip that suggested focusing on the pros of French rather than the downs as this relates to your situation and could prove helpful in the near future!
Thanks for this list! I've just started a couple months ago and I've been getting frustrated occasionally at the pace I've been learning. I'm going to redouble my effort towards learning this language tomorrow!
I'm so glad my tips benefited you! Keep learning and remember, don't give up! You'll reach your goals eventually!
Sorry for the late reply, by the way. I've been busy!