Learning French means reading it, understanding it when someone speaks it, writing it, and speaking it.
Most people go to school and learn how to read and write the French language...
That's what I did...
I've been studying French since I was about nine years old. I've always liked the French language.
But it hasn't always been easy.
But that doesn't mean I can't enjoy the process of learning French.
I've found that the fastest way to speaking French well is listening to it a lot...
You learn a lot of vocabulary and, even better, you learn how the French express themselves.
It doesn't happen overnight but...
It took you a few years to learn your native language when you were a baby.
And the best part of learning to understand spoken French is that you'll never forget it... It's like learning to ride a bike...
You'll always remember it.
However it does take some time for your ears to adjust to the way French sounds...
But it's worth every minute!
Learning French is something I do a little bit of almost every day.
You can find subjects that interest you (books, magazines, TV
shows, movies, etc.) and learn more about them in French if you're
ready for that.
Did you know that most of your favorite TV shows and movies have been dubbed in the French language?
And there are a lot of English language books that have been translated into French.
What's your favorite book? Maybe it exists in French too.
Whatever you choose to do, just do it. Doing anything will move you forward faster than doing nothing.
Listening to French, speaking French, reading French and writing French all work.
Just pick one! And in case you forgot, you will make mistakes. It means you're still learning.
Me? I get out there and say things, apologize for my mistakes, ask questions about how to say things properly.
And most importantly, I laugh at my own mistakes and myself a lot.
The more you practice French, the faster you learn it. And the more you can laugh at your own silly mistakes, the more fun you'll have learning French.
The more fun you have, the faster you'll learn French too.
A good way to get started is to memorize a few simple, useful expressions. It's how you learned English as a baby anyway (ok, THOSE expressions were REALLY basic, but it is the same process ; ).
Even if you learn French at a casual pace, you can still make a lot of progress as long as you use it.
So only start with expressions that you will use.
For me learning to apologize for my bad French was a great one! Start with the basics.
And then when you're ready, you can try reading a book or magazine, watching a DVD in French, email back and forth with someone, and if you can, talk to someone in French.
Preferably over coffee and a pain au chocolat!
It's like when you were a baby...
Your parents spoke English.
For a few years, you mostly listened to them.
You were learning to understand spoken English (and learning a lot of vocabulary at the same time).
Of course, you tried to talk, but no one understood you very well. But, you continued trying to express yourself...
Fortunately, you were just a baby.
So making mistakes didn't bother you ; ).
Eventually, you were able to express yourself pretty well after years of listening to English.
Now, you're probably way better at remembering things then you were when you were a baby, so it'll go a lot faster this time!
If you've got 15 minutes a day, you'll have spent over 100 hours a year learning French!
Now that's a lot of practice time!
At the moment, I'm putting together something to help anyone speak French more naturally...
Let's face it...
I have a lot of experience in this area as a French learner...and I know a lot of native French speakers too...
I'm pretty well aware of what's lacking in the French learning department after years and years of doing it myself both in the US and in France.
But I want to create something that will really help anyone...
So tell me about where you get stuck...
What do you think is missing?