Learning a Language: French

Planning a visit to Paris? If you are taking a trip to France, whether for business or pleasure, you are probably looking to brush up on your French. If you are a native English speaker and are looking to learn a little French, you are more than halfway there. French uses a lot of words that are common in English and is also a Latin-based language. For a novice French learner, there are a few helpful tips that will make your learning quick and easy, especially if you are planning a trip to France in the near future.

First, make a list of all the French words you know that are used in English. You've been surprised how many words are the same. Once you have your list, you should sit down and start making sentences. Use a dictionary and look up filler words you need to know. Think of the things you'd need to know on your trip, like how to ask for directions and how to find landmarks, and then start making a list with the words you already know and look up the ones you do not.

Next, see if you can find a native speaker to help you with pronunciation. Talking to a native will help you more than anything else when it comes to learning how to master the accent. It will not help you know the words if no one can understand you! Take the list you had and try to really nail the pronunciation. You'll find that French accents use much more guttural tones that are not common in English, but it's nothing you can not learn how to do. Learn a few key phrases with a near perfect accent and you will be able to get along just fine when you're visiting overseas.

Lastly, try to find time to practice what you're learning. French can be a hard language to get at first but you really need to practice the accent. French words have a structure when it comes to accent and pronunciation that need to be practiced and studied. If you can practice the language as often as possible before your trip, you'll be more likely to pull out your skills once you make it to France. It can be intimidating to break out new language skills but if you've had practice beforehand, you'll be ready to talk up a storm. French has many similarities to English and if you really study hard you will be able to converse and get around wonderfully once you arrive in France.