How to Learn French Fast

By OptiLingo • 7 minute read

Learn French in Record Time

When you start to learn French, it’s fair to wonder how long it takes. Not everyone can spend years studying a language. Luckily, with French, you don’t have to. You can learn French very quickly. And you don’t even need a special superpower to do so. With these 8 tips, you’ll know how to learn French fast on your own, and reach fluency in record time.

How Long Does it Take to Learn French?

If you ever wondered how long it takes to learn French, you’re not alone. Even those who don’t want to make their French language learning as fast as possible may want to know. The truth is, there’s no number for how long it takes to learn a language. That depends on the learner, the language, and how the learning happens.

But, if you insist, here’s a number for you: according to the US Foreign Service Institute (FSI) French is a Category I language. This means that it would take approximately 575-600 hours or 28 weeks of study to reach French fluency for an English native speaker. That’s thanks to the similarity between the two languages.

Is French Similar to English

Lucky for you, English and French are really similar language. That’s because of the shared history between England and France. William the Conqueror invaded England in 1066 and brought the French language with him. Today, the similarities between English and French are still apparent. This will make learning French easier and faster for you.

You can thank the French invasion of England for these similarities:

  1. Shared alphabet: Both French and English use the Latin alphabet with 26 letters. The only differences are in the pronunciation and accent marks in French.
  2. Familiar sentence structure: Both languages follow the SVO (subject-verb-object) sentence structure. This will make speaking and writing French much easier.
  3. Loanwords and cognates: You actually already have a huge French vocabulary. Roughly 10,000 words in English the look and sound the same as in French, and they also have the same meaning. These loanwords and cognates will boost your French vocabulary, so you can study French faster.

How to Learn French fast and reach fluency in record time?

8 Top Tips to Learn French Fast

1. Create a French Learning Schedule

If you truly want to learn French fast, you need to be well organized. Whether you’re learning French for an upcoming trip or a language exam, you have your deadline. Calculate how much time you can invest in your studies until then, and keep yourself to your language learning schedule.

You’d be surprised how easy it is to fit your French studies into your everyday life. You can listen to a French podcast while you cook, review your lessons on your commute, or listen to some French songs at the gym. All of these positive activities add up to a successful French learning journey.

2. Choose the Best Way to Learn French

There are a lot of ways to start learning French. You need to find the method that works best for you. If you’re progressing fast and you’re enjoying your French lessons, you know you found the right language learning tool. These are some common methods learners use to reach French fluency:

  • Join a class: If you like learning with other people, this option is great. But your classmates may ultimately slow you down, so not the best choice for learning French fast.
  • Hire a private tutor: You can hire someone who’s proficient at French to work with you closely. You can learn at your own speed, but you’ll have to pay quite a lot of money for the time and expertise of your tutor.
  • Buy some textbooks: You can totally learn French by yourself. But, if you don’t know where to start, purchasing some French textbooks may help. They can guide your lessons well. Unfortunately, even the best French textbooks will try to teach you topics and grammar you’ll never actually use.
  • Download an app: If you want to learn French at your own pace at a fast speed, and you don’t want to break the bank on tutors and textbooks, a language learning app is the best choice for you. Technology and language learning is an excellent method to guide your lessons and build your French fluency fast.

3. Focus on the Most Common French Words

80% of your everyday speech comes from 20% of your vocabulary. It’s true, it’s called Pareto Principle or 80/20 rule. And, it’s true for every language, even French. So, how does the 80/20 help you learn French fast?

If you only focus on the most crucial 20% of the French vocabulary, you can learn French very quickly, and speak fluently. With only a handful of vocabulary words, you can have a complete and fluent conversation in French. These high-frequency words are the key to fast language learning.

If you’re wondering where you can find that specific list of the most common French words and phrases, you’re in luck. OptiLingo is an app that’s built on that list. If you want to access the most crucial and useful French vocabulary, download OptiLingo today!

start speaking French fast

4. Start Speaking French From Day 1

Many language learners postpone or forget to practice their speaking skills. But, that’s how you slow your progress down. Make sure you start speaking French from your first lesson. The sooner you start getting used to the sounds of the language, the faster you can reach French fluency. If you want to know how you can learn French fast, this is the one trick everybody forgets to mention.

5. Immerse Yourself in French

There’s a lot to be said about immersion. You can use immersion to learn a language in France. Hear everyday conversations and surround yourself with only the French language. But, you can also do that from the comfort of your home. The more you hear and read French, the faster you’ll reach fluency. Here are a few activities you can do to create a home immersion experience in French:

  • Watch French movies: French cinema is amazing. There are a lot of classics and must-see international titles in French. But, there are also great comedies and action films you can watch in French. Here’s a list of the best French films to learn a language while you’re relaxing.
  • Listen to French podcasts: If you want an intense but also interesting listening exercise, you can always tune in to a French podcast. Listen to native French presenters speak, and learn about various topics.
  • Read the news in French: French news and media is a great source of information. You can read about everyday events in French newspapers and online magazines, just like the French locals are.
  • Watch French TV shows: If long-form motion pictures aren’t your thing, watch an episode of French TV. These reality and competition shows are highly entertaining, and they feature real French locals.

6. Sing French Songs

If you struggle with French pronunciation, singing songs is an excellent resource. You can listen to and sing awesome French songs to learn vocabulary, practice speaking, and have fun at the same time. These tunes are also a great way to get to know French culture a little better. You can easily speed up your French fluency if you sing French songs a lot.

start singing yourself to French fluency fast

7. Travel to France

Of course, this isn’t an opportunity for everyone. But, if you have the chance to travel to France, you can learn French insanely fast there. Surround yourself with real French locals, and force yourself to speak to them. It may be tempting to revert back to English but stay outside of your comfort zone. The fastest way to learn French is to practice it as often as you can.

8. Use the Best App to Learn French

When it comes to learning French fast on your own, a language learning app is your best option. It’s built on scientifically proven methods, and it’s also a cheaper alternative. But, you have to be careful to only choose the best language learning app for your French studies. Get one that gives you useful vocabulary, makes you speak the language, and is also fun to use. And that’s exactly what OptiLingo offers.

OptiLingo brings you results fast. Don’t waste your time learning useless vocabulary. Only learn the necessary. You can also learn French at your own pace, so you can tailor OptiLingo to fit your schedule. Reach fluency in record time with the help of OptiLingo!

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Dreaming of learning a new language? With OptiLingo, you can learn 20 languages in just 20 minutes per day. www.optilingo.com