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So, You Want to Learn French…

So, You Want to Learn French…
Great choice! French is a very versatile language that is considered relatively easy for native English speakers to learn. It is an official language of nearly 30 countries and is taught on every continent. Furthermore, it is one of the four official languages of the United Nations. And, it is the unofficial language of foodies everywhere!

What do you need to know before you get started learning French?

The good news is that French uses the Latin alphabet, with the addition of some accent marks, which generally makes the learning curve easier for native English speakers.

Pronunciation can be tricky. You’ll want to learn how the accent marks affect the letter sounds and how popular letter combinations work together. The best way to master pronunciation is to hear a lot of French, either through your lessons or by listening to French videos or recordings (as long as they are done by a native French speaker).

French nouns have genders! In French, even inanimate objects are assigned a gender, which often feels arbitrary to English speakers. But, it’s part of the language, so best to just learn that libraries are feminine and museums are masculine.

Some words are the same in French and English, in fact, many are! Because French and English share common roots, and because France and England have such a long history, English has adopted many French words in the language. When you apply for a job you submit a “resume,” you might meet a friend for lunch at a downtown “cafe,” if you open your own business you are an “entrepreneur.”

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