https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andmund

Is French easy?

I just started studying French in my school and besides i am taking some extra classes on Duolingo. Is French easy as I have always heard that it's very difficult and even some of my French friends on some other social media sites say that they are lucky indeed to have French as their Native Language as otherwise it would have been very difficult for them to learn it. Is it so as so far I have been enjoying learning this language? Besides does listening French songs improves the vocabulary?

August 10, 2015

19 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Haagedoorn

Difficulty is something I consider quite subjective. French has a lot of words that you will recognize because of the influence of French on English. There are no cases, which is a plus, but there are a lot of tenses and genders (but then again, just 2, compared to German's 3) with exceptions, which I personally hate the most. Rules are fine, but not if they're not actually rules anymore because of the insane amounts of exceptions. Once you get through a few basic tenses though, adding new ones become easier since you'll use parts of the simpler ones for the more difficult tenses. Overall, it's not the most difficult you'll learn (I agree with German being harder in grammar), but also not the easiest.

August 10, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Taloua

In my opinion, French is one of the most complicated languages I have been studying. Learning French depends on the time devoted to it. Actually, this language requires time more than any other one. You will absolutely face some problems while dealing with it, that is just the beginning. I completely disagree with your French-speaking friends. French is not that difficult :)

August 10, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/M4RKoHI4P

Practise and it will be easy :D

August 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hivemindx

If you are a native English speaker French is categorised as a Tier 1 (easiest) language. This doesn't mean easiest, just in the group of easiest languages. It shares quite a lot of vocabulary with English which is handy, but can sometimes mislead you (see Faux Amis - words which are similar to English words with different meanings eg: la librairie)

The grammar is relatively easy but like most languages there are many exceptions and you will only learn them all over time.

Listening to French music can't hurt but I wouldn't think it is the best way to learn vocabulary. Written word is probably better for that (eg: Le Monde, novels, blogs). What audio is good for is pronunciation which can be pretty difficult in French. I often can't understand anything in a dialog even though when I read the transcript I know every single word. The general consensus is that listening to the language you are learning helps develop your 'ear' for it so you can understand, and also pronounce it better. One potential issue with songs is that they may mangle the language a bit to fit the meter and rhyme and this makes them hard to understand. Of course normal speakers sometimes rush sentences and leave out words too so there is no harm in getting some exposure to that.

August 10, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnLiotta

Easy is relative. When you compare it to learning other languages that is subjective. For me the pronunciation is the hardest thing in French- it is very demanding and exacting. In Spanish, for example, there is less strictness. I say all of this, of course, as a native English speaker. It may be different for those with other native tongues. Further, as an aside, the hardest language for me to learn thus far has been Korean.

August 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pir_anha

No matter what language you're talking about, there will be native speakers who insist that it is the hardest language ever. Usually that's not true. Don't listen to that (though if they are Navajo or Tuyuca they might have a point). Don't argue it either, just smile and move on.

You're enjoying French! Yay! Seriously, that matters a lot. The more fun you have the easier even difficult tasks can feel.

How difficult a language is objectively depends on a lot of different factors, languages are multi-dimensional. Most of the lists floating around on the net are BS. The hardest language to learn is one for which you can't find any materials -- Sentinelese probably ranks high: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sentinelese_people. But very generally, for a native English speaker, French is one of the easier languages to acquire and speak relatively decently. The grammar is a bit different, but not so different as to break your brain, and there is so, so much vocabulary that comes from the same root (cognates), that you already know hundreds of words without knowing it. There are gazillions of free resources on the net, French is an official language in 29 countries; around 220 million people speak French world-wide. If you are an American, there are native French-speaking communities even in your own country, though you might have to travel south or northeast to visit them.

Listening to French audio is good, including music. Do it a lot. Creating a pseudo-immersion environment will help you learn. But when that listening is mostly passive, you don't learn much vocabulary. Think about it, how quickly do you learn the lyrics to a song in English, unless you actually concentrate on it? French vocab is a step removed from that. What you do learn is flow and rhythm and how native speakers pronounce things (though songs, like in English, often feature distorted words).

August 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PolyglotCiro

I speak English...but also i speak Spanish..i'm learning German...French is easy to me!

August 17, 2015

[deactivated user]

    I speak English and very little Spanish, some german and I’m starting on french

    February 27, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Namejs

    I think it is easy, at least the grammar is pretty simple. The pronunciation is crazy hard ,because of the amount of the vowels they have and the way they write just doesn't make any sense at all, but can be learnable.

    August 10, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ektoraskan

    I agree. The French grammar isn't hard. Spelling is a challenge, but I bet you can learn to spell better than the natives :p The vocabulary is more of a challenge. It has a rather limited vocabulary, which means lots of words have multiple meanings. And the slang expressions are usually far from being obvious. But otherwise, I'd say it's easier than German.

    August 10, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Emi_Fr

    I disagree about the easy grammar. It's just you have not reach "this" level where everything is absolutely awful. There is still one grammar rule I don't get and even my French parents can't explain to me; "it's like this and I can't explain why" they say. Very useful.

    Then French is just like another language, it's hard work.

    Fortunately, French native speakers don't expect foreigner to speak a 100% correct French.

    August 11, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WiaanH

    I believe it will depend on your language background. For me (as Afrikaans speaker) French grammar is crazy difficult compared to my native language but hard work will give you results!

    August 11, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IAmJon

    I don't believe that any foreign language is that easy. I do think that French is possibly the easiest for an English speaker to learn. People will talk a lot about language trees and the fact that English is a germanic language, but it isn't that simple. German feels a lot further away from English than French does to me. English is very similar to French and shares a lot of vocabulary. Often sentences look like a slightly Frenchified version of English ones. I have looked at other languages and aside from maybe Dutch (which is a Germanic language and I would say that it is on level with French for easiness), French is the easiest to learn and most similar to English.

    I think reading French for an English speaker isn't really hard at all. Speaking is more difficult as things aren't pronounced exactly as they are written. The most difficult thing I think is listening to French speakers talk. As to my English ears they speak really fast and mumbly and don't enunciate words.

    August 10, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FalKoopa

    Learning for the past few months, I can say it's not hard. English and French have a lot of words in common (or similar words) which makes it easier.

    The grammar will take more time, as it's really different from English. Once you get the hang of it, it will appear quite logical, though.

    The elephant in the room is the pronunciation. It's COMPLETELY alien compared to English and will confound you initially. Just keep trying there. You'll make it.

    August 10, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/1999Josh

    French to me is a bit of a struggle, but you can get through it. The grammar for me is quite easy considering I have knowledge in German grammar. The pronouncing of the words can be a little hard and the listening for me would be the most difficult.

    August 10, 2015

    [deactivated user]

      In my experience, French is one of the easiest languages you could possibly learn. The two hardest things about it are pronunciation and spelling, but it gets easier.

      August 11, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zacraysmith

      For a English speaker, it is one of the easiest languages to learn. The only challenges are verb conjugation and pronunciation. All that is needed is regular practice in short bursts, ideally daily.

      August 11, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kkrwxo

      i believe so .. but my family also speaks creole and spanish. but i do not understand either language and If you commit yourself to do/learn it. Itll be easy, Learn spanish first makes french WAY more easier to understand.

      August 11, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dogbark10

      French is difficult, but worth it

      January 11, 2019
      Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.