French Language

8 Reasons to Learn French.

Learning a new language is always a good idea no matter if it would be French or any other foreign language. Knowing more than one language can make your career more successful, enhance your brains’ performance, enable you communicate easier when traveling, help you find more friends and more. If you still haven’t decided what language to study, bellow you can find a list of reasons why French is important and why it is worthwhile learning it.

1. Statistics About French.

french-language-statisticsBased on statistics, French has a total of 270 million speakers, which makes it the 6th most spoken language around the world. For large majority of these speakers it is a secondary language (about 190 million) and for the rest – native. These numbers above are a good indication that French is quite commonly being learned as a secondary foreign language and also that it is not too difficult to learn. The same statistics also suggest that after English, French is the most commonly chosen language for studying. If these numbers alone would be not good enough reason to learn French, it is also an official or one of the official languages of almost 30 nations. This includes countries like Luxemburg, Canada, Belgium, Haiti, Madagascar, Monaco, Switzerland, Niger, Benin and many more. So it can be said that French is spoken and being understood in 5 different continents of the world. The projections for French language statistics are also quite positive in the future. It is expected that the number of speakers will increase quite a lot in the future due to growing population number in sub-Saharan Africa where French is one of the main languages.

2. Widens Your Career Opportunities.

The benefits of knowing more than one language are quite often associated with better career opportunities. Quite a lot of people lose their job only because they don’t speak foreign languages. And statistically, people who are able to communicate in more than one language are able to make more money. If you have just finished studies and don’t have sufficient experience in your field, knowing French can greatly bolster your resume and improve your chances of getting a job. Learning French can be specifically beneficial for people who are interested in fashion and want to follow a career in this field. Quite a lot of companies and brands including Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Dior are French based so knowing this language can be advantageous when seeking for a job in one of these companies. In addition to that French can be beneficial for people who are seeking career in science. Switzerland, France and Canada rank among top countries that have the highest impact on science and they are all Francophone.

3. Easier to Learn Other Foreign Languages.

French was derived from Latin, which means that it is classified as Romance language. Since French has a lot of similarities with other Romance languages including Portuguese, Spanish, Romanian and Italian it will be easier to learn them once you know French. On the contrary learning other foreign languages from this category becomes easier too.

4. Many Resources for Learning French.

french-language-studying-resourcesAs it was already mentioned previously, learners choose to study French as a second language the most (after English). Due to large number of people interested in learning this foreign language there is of course a large demand for studying material to learn it. As a result there is also a large supply of courses, books, language schools that are aimed at teaching this foreign language. So if you will decide to study French you will definitely have a large choice between different methods and ways of studying.

5. French is Easy to Learn.

While at the beginning French might seem quite difficult to learn, it is actually quite the opposite. This is especially true for learners those first language is English. Due to the fact that English is a Romance language, it shares a lot of similarities with French. In fact quite a lot of English words originate from French so it is quite easy to learn new vocabulary because you will probably know the meaning of many words already. Based on FSI ranking (The Foreign Service Institute) French is classified as one of the easiest languages to study for English speakers. The same ranking also suggest that it takes up to 600 hours of studying to achieve S3 and R3 level in French (Speaking and Reading).

6. Gives an Access to a New Culture.

France is known for its varied and rich culture, cooking, architecture, fashion and arts. By learning this foreign language you would be able to understand various works of French literature, listen to songs, watch films without any subtitles and more.

7. Official Language of Many International Organizations.

Not only French have many speakers in various countries but it is also an official language of many international organizations. This includes EU, NATO, United Nations, UNESCO, International Red Cross and others. So if you are planning to have your career in any of these mentioned international organizations, knowing French can give you an advantage when seeking employment.

8. Popular Destinations for Traveling.

traveling-to-FranceAbout 80 million people visit France each year, which makes it among the most popular tourist destinations in the world. So if you like to travel it is highly likely that one day you will visit Paris or one of France regions. Knowing at least the most essential French phrases can make your travel much easier and richer too. You would be able to communicate with local people better, learn more about their culture & traditions. It is also worthwhile to mention that France is not the only country where you can use this language for communicational purposes. French has quite a lot of speakers in countries like Monaco, Africa, Seychelles, Canada and etc. so you would definitely benefit from speaking this foreign language.

While in this article I was I able to list 8 reasons for learning French, they are mostly statistical or economical. Learning French can be also due to many personal reasons so there is definitely more of them.

How to learn French on your own.

How to choose the best way to learn French language?

Choosing the best method for learning French might vary depending on what level you need to achieve with this language. In case you are learning this language for traveling purposes and only need to learn a couple of words and sentences to get around in a foreign country it might be enough to use free resources. While it takes some time and patience to find quality resources, it will definitely help you learn a few useful phrases. For people who want to achieve higher level at French it might be worthwhile to invest some money in quality online course, books or other material. When you will have more material that you can study from you will be able to progress faster.

keep-calm-learn-frenchThe other factor that you should consider before choosing a method for studying is your learning style. It is quite well-known fact that different people tend to learn in different ways. For instance if you are visual learner you should concentrate on studying from video material, games, flashcards and movies. In case you are audible learner a better option for you might audio lessons, podcasts and listening to foreign music. For people who consider themselves as kinesthetic learners the best methods for learning are language learning software, classes at university and language schools abroad. In case you are not sure what kind of learner you are, you can easily determine that by doing a few quizzes online. Also it is worthwhile to mention that you do not necessary need to choose learning method based on your learning style, since it is just a recommendation.

Ways to learn French on your own.

As it was mentioned previously there are many different ways how you can start learning a foreign language. Since French is one of the most popular secondary language to learn there are also plenty of quality material that you can choose from. In case you have a budget for studying you might consider looking for classes in your local university or collage. Some other not free options include buying an online course or textbooks, going to a language school abroad or hiring a private tutor.

Study via Online Courses.

When it comes to French almost all popular online courses offer to learn this language. Also usually these courses offer more levels for this language, so users can achieve much higher level with it. Some of the highest rated online courses for French include Fluenz, Rocket, Rosetta Stone and Pimsleur. All of these mentioned programs have their own pros and cons and you can find in depth reviews of them this site. While in general it can be said that online courses are enjoyable and effective way to study, you will need to have a budget in order to buy them. Depending on which course and how many levels you will choose to buy you might need to spend $100-450. While it might seem like a lot of money for some people it’s definitely a lot cheaper option than going to a language school abroad or hiring a private teacher.

Learn via Books.

The other effective option for learning French is to buy some course books for this language. A good place to buy them form is either Amazon or Kindle. There are so many of them that it is even hard to choose one. Some of these books cover vocabulary while others are more aimed at teaching you grammar. You can find a list of some of my favorite books that are also ranked highly by users bellow.

Ultimate-French1. Ultimate French Beginner-Intermediate Coursebook.

This book provides users with 40 lessons that include dialogues, grammar explanations, quizzes, vocabulary, pronunciation and some cultural notes. In addition to a texbook you will also receive audio recordings (10 hours) and flashcards. It can be said that this book is easy to follow and it’s quite enjoyable way to study. Since the whole book consists of 448 pages so it’s definitely worth its price.

Easy-French-Textbook2. Easy French Step-by-Step.

This book is more aimed at people who want to improve their French grammar. It provides users with easy to understand grammar concepts, which you will learn through readings and exercises. In addition to that you can expect to learn more than 300 verbs, which will greatly improve your vocabulary list. The whole book has 400 pages so there is definitely a lot of material to cover for this little price.

Learning via Free Resources.

In case you do not have a budget for learning it doesn’t actually mean that you can’t learn French. There are many different websites that offer free lesson, videos and other material that can help you study. One of my favorite places to look for free material is YouTube. You can find plenty of videos teaching you basic grammar rules and vocabulary for different languages. While most of these videos are aimed at beginners it is definitely a great way to start. Also it is worthwhile to visit your local library and look for books that would help you study. You can easily find dictionaries, textbooks and even audiobooks, which you can borrow for free. Some of my favorite free websites that offer free material are Duolingo and Memrise. Both of these websites offer short and fun courses on different topics.

Learning French Language: is it difficult?

About French Language.

French is not only an official language of France, but also of other 29 countries. In addition to that it is official language of international organizations such as NATO, United Nations, the European Community and etc. There are more than 200 million people who speak it as a first or second language in addition to 75 million native speakers. Most of them live in France, Switzerland, Belgium, Canada, Francophone Africa and Monaco. As a result of it’s popularity its the second most thought language in the world after English.

Even though there are variety of dialects of this language throughout France two main are usually distinguished. These are standard and Quebec French. The first one is based on the dialect of Paris and has been the official language of France for many years. The second one is the form of French used in Canada by almost 7 million people. The main difference between these forms can be seen in punctuation, spelling and even vocabulary; however they have almost identical grammar rules. The other dialects within France have more or less the same written form with distinctions in pronunciation.

One should be aware that French people are very protective about their language. There are even laws that banns non-French words from media. Some of the languages adopt a lot of vocabulary from English in the area of new technology; however French agencies try to introduce their own vocabulary.

French has some similarities in grammatical structure and vocabulary with languages like Spanish, Portuguese and Italian, therefore if you know any of them it would be easier for you to learn French or vice versa.

How difficult it is to learn?

french-lnguageThe alphabet of French uses 26 letters together with some additions to show specific sounds. This written form is similar to other European languages.

Due to the fact that English was largely influenced by French, you will find a lot of vocabulary familiar. Some linguists even estimate that it could have influenced even up third of English vocabulary.

One difference that you will notice is that all nouns have gender (famine or masculine). While learning vocabulary you will need to learn words with definite and indefinite articles, so that you would know the gender of each word with the word itself. Due to the fact that some words have different meanings depending on the gender, not knowing genders of words might lead to confusion while understanding what you are saying.The difficult part of this language is of course pronunciation, since there are vowel sounds and some letters are silent. These silent letters are often found at the end of the words and makes pronunciation differ a lot from its spelling. French also uses accents. There are a total of five accents: four for vowels and one for a consonant. They are not so difficult to learn and it is important to know them, since a missing or incorrect accent is considered a spelling mistake. You might also find it difficult to learn tenses, since there are 17.

Some interesting facts about French Language.

  • learning-french-languageFrench has about 1 million words and 20,000 of new ones are created every year.
  • It is approximately calculated that in order to reach an advanced level in French speaking an English learner needs 720 hours of studying. To compare these numbers one should know that to reach only low level of speaking in Chinese, Japanese and Korean a learner needs to spend about 1000 hours. So it could be said that its easier to learn how to speak in comparison to the languages mentioned above.
  • The number of people who speak in this language has almost increased by three times since 1945. This is mostly due to the fact that former colonies of Belgium and France kept it after decolonization.
  • It is the second most thought language in the USA after Spanish and in Britain it’s even the first place.
  • Quite a lot of words that end in -ly (in English), usually finish in -ement (in French), for example: exactly (EN), exactament (FR).
  • It’s among five languages used in websites on the internet.
  • The longest word is anticonstitutionnellement, which means “in a very unconstitutional way”, however it’s rarely used.
  • The letter “W” is only contained in foreign words.
  • Besides English it’s the only language that is spoken on five different continents of the world.