Not only am I here, in France, learning french but I am also learning Italian at school. And those who know, know that I was taking Spanish too but, I decided to drop the class because I was really here in France to LEARN french and all the languages were getting a little overwhelming. Plus I have never taken Spanish or Italian so, on top of learning french I would really have to keep up with the other languages to get a “pass” for my transcripts in the US.
So being here, I first noticed that it was not as simple as I thought. I have taken about two and a half years of french and I thought I had a basic understanding and man do I have a really basic understanding! Anyway, I’ve picked up some tips and tricks that I thought would be good to share.
- Practice Verb Tenses and Fem. & Masc.
Especially for english speakers out there, we don’t have feminine and masculine words like; ‘la salade’ or ‘le bureau’. In french and most other languages there’s masculine and feminine words and the only real way si to memorize them and practice saying, “j’ai un drapeau.” Afterwards, it will become muscle memory and stick. And remember making mistakes always helps, as funny as it sounds, because it’s the easiest way our brain remembers.
Look around you room, living room, bathroom, etc. and label everything, especially words you don’t know! While you’re at it post some verbs and adjectives on the walls too!
3. Listen to EVERYTHING!
Whether you are in the country or not there are always resources available to you that you can use. Spotify has a billion songs from all over the world and you can search on Youtube for videos in the language you want to learn. TIP: Check if they have english subtitles so, you can see the translations of the words. But, don’t always depend on subtitles!
4. Relate new words to words you know.
There are a bunch of words in english that sound and look similar to other languages because,”Latin influenced in English. English is a Germanic language, having a grammar and core vocabulary inherited from Proto-Germanic. However, a significant portion of the English vocabulary comes from Romance and Latinate sources.” Moreover (De plus), it’s easy to learn simple words in a different language. For example, in english you have ‘cell cycle’ which is french it’s ‘cycle cellulaire’. It looks different but, also similar. By doing this you can expand you vocabulary.
5. Find Someone!
If you really want to be able to speak a language find someone to talk to. Maybe Skype them or see if you can find a friend of a friend. If you really want to, all you have to do is put yourself out there. Along with that, you can also get a pen pal from another country to practice writing and understanding the language as well.
**I found some cool videos that discuss more tips on learning a language and some others that are informative about benefits of speaking a language, why people choose to learn & people who speak many languages, and how they did it.
- Tips to Learn Languages from the 10 Language Twins
- 3 Myths About Language Fluency People Still Believe
- 5 Techniques To Speak Any Language
- 3 Average Guys Attempt Tp Learn French In One Week; Part 1
- 3 Average Guys Attempt Tp Learn French In One Week; Part 2
To go along with everything I have also included some websites that I think are good for learning languages:
Happy learning (and speaking)!