So you want to speak French? Félicitations! This is an incredible decision and learning a new language is always exciting. But French is often famous for being a very difficult language to learn and speak. So how can you do it? Is it really that hard to learn? In today’s new post, we will teach you:
- The main reasons to learn French and where to begin;
- Pros and cons of learning a new language as a kid;
- How long does it take to be fluent in French;
- How to learn French online for free;
- The best countries to visit if you want to learn French;
- Your ultimate online solution to learning French: General Français by GlobalExam!
Now without further ado, let’s get into it!
What are the main reasons to learn French?
You really want to start learning French as a beginner but you’re still not one hundred percent convinced? Here are 6 reasons to convince you to learn French.
#1 French is spoken worldwide
Along with English, French is spoken on all 5 continents. In a lot of countries (more than 40!), French is either the first or second language. So wherever you will be on the planet, you can always find someone to speak French with!
#2 It is a very important career asset
Being bilingual is so important when it comes to your career. A lot of jobs, in many different fields (like retailing, IT, aeronautics, fashion, communication, pharmacy etc.) are looking for bilingual people. It will definitely be a plus on your resumé if you know a second language, whether French or Spanish.
#3 It’s the language of diplomacy and international relations
French is the official language of a lot of committees: the United Nations, The European Union, the Olympic Committee, the Red Cross but also UNESCO and NATO. So, whether you’re considering a career in international relationships and organizations or just curious about the news and the life of these organizations, knowing French will give you a good advantage.
#4 It’s the language of culture
Learning French will give you access to a wide range of movies, books, pieces of art etc.
French culture is vast, rich and highly interesting. It’s THE language of culture. Knowing how to speak French will give you access to so many wonders: food, cinema, books, fashion, music, architecture, arts, science… There are so many things to explore. And the best part is, most of them will help you improve your French too!
#5 It will help you learn romance languages faster
Romance languages (aka French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Romanian, along with regional dialects such as Catalan and Occitan) take a big place in Europe and the world. As they have the same Latin roots and are constructed in the same way (meaning the grammar and vocabulary are very similar), knowing one of them will definitely give you a better understanding of the others and thus, learn faster.
#6 A great way to study abroad
Knowing French is also a great way of studying abroad. There are a lot of International French schools in almost every country and exchange programs are numerous. If you’ve ever dreamed of studying somewhere in the world, there surely is a school or an exchange program for you!
Where to begin as a new learner? How can you learn French easily?
When it comes to learning a language, scientists always tell us that it is way easier to learn as a kid, and to start as early as possible. But how true is it really? Well, if learning a language surely is easier when you’re a kid, it does mean it is impossible as an adult. It may be a bit more difficult because our brains are no longer in the “discovery” and “learning” processes but there sure are tons of resources that are not accessible to kids and meant for adults and that will help you tons.
Adults also tend to have more will, motivation, autonomy and a better understanding of complicated concepts than kids. It’s like everything else: with the best resources to learn French and the top tips for learning this language, everything is possible. For example, try to browse the internet looking for FSL resources (French as a Second Language). These types of resources are especially made for learners who want to learn French but have a different mother tongue. You can also go on YouTube. It is an incredible platform filled with FSL resources that will help you improve your French pronunciation, listening, grammar and vocabulary through songs and entertaining exercises.
Who said learning had to mean boring?
Is it really easier for kids to learn French?
We saw that learning a new language was not just meant for kids and that you can start at all ages. But what are the pros and cons of learning French as a kid?
- Studies of the brain and neuro connexions have shown that kids are just better at processing and memorizing information.
- Their levels of self consciousness are low: that just means that kids don’t care about what other people think and are not afraid of making mistakes.
- Learning a new language encourages a lot of things such as curiosity, creativity, and empathy. It also develops brain functions and brain activity. And kids have the most active brain, so learning a new language will make them smarter.
- Due to their fairly simple understanding of the world, kids will only learn simple concepts. This means that they won’t understand complex grammatical concepts nor they will memorize complicated vocabulary words.
- Kids are more prone to mixing languages. Bilingual kids tend to mix languages more easily and that can be a minor setback, especially at school. But don’t worry, this phenomenon tends to disappear quickly!
- Language learning can be inconsistent when growing old: schools won’t always propose language courses and when they do, it’s not always of good quality. Bilingual schools are also often very expensive.
How long does it take to speak fluent French?
It is very hard to say how long it takes to learn French and even more how long it takes to become fluent in French. It depends on a lot of factors: your motivation, the time you spend on learning and how you spend it.
The best way to improve quickly is to travel and/or work in a French speaking country, so you’re fully immersed in the language and have no other choice than to speak. This way, you can be fluent in about 6 months.
It can also vary from person to person: do you master another language? Then it will be easier for you to learn. Do you have a family who can speak French? Then it will be easier for you too. Do you have opportunities to practice with other people, with natives? This will also help you compared to learning and practising alone.
So, all in all, it can take a bit longer than a full immersion if you have time and opportunities to practise (around a year) and more than a year with no immersion at all, if you’re just on your own.
Are there any possibilities to learn French for free online?
Yes, there are a lot of online resources on the Internet and many learning websites that offer free French courses for free such as busuu, preply, duolingo etc. We also saw earlier that you could search for FSL resources and there are tons of them.
But the best resources are often subscriptions, and righteously so: these paying courses are made by professional trainers and certified teachers.
Just like us at GlobalExam! Training with a subscription like ours will ensure you get quality content and lessons. Be careful with free platforms, while they are an amazing tool for finding various resources, they are very often made by volunteers.
Travel in a French speaking country to learn French
If you’ve decided to learn French (or improve) while traveling, here is a quick guide on where to go.
France, of course! You can visit beautiful cities such as Paris, Toulouse, Montpellier, Lille or visit beautiful regions such as Brittany or Camargue. Belgium and Switzerland. Brussels and Geneva are a must see. Both countries have beautiful landscapes too!
Canada, Québec and Montréal. If you’re in the USA, Louisiana (which was French until the 1800s) is a nice place to visit.
Vietnam and Cambodia. Both of these countries have French as one of their national languages and are a great destination if you want to know more about their culture.
Senegal and Ivory Coast. Just like Vietnam and Cambodia, French is widely spoken in these countries. They’re another great destination!
Your ultimate online solution to learn French: GlobalExam
If you’re still not sure where to start your learning journey, GlobalExam got you covered. Our online Global General program will help you train or improve your level in any of these languages: French, English, Spanish, Italian and German.
Training your French on our General French course will give you access to academic training, flashcards, in life situations as well as cultural facts. Global General also has 150 hours of unique resources, 500 audio recordings and 5.000 detailed corrections. This online training was designed for beginners and intermediate levels and aims at keeping you motivated to learn a new language, while you have fun doing it.
What are you waiting for? Hop on with us and let’s learn French together!