Spoken in France and being the official language of over 28 countries, we have always associated French with love & romance.
The softness of the consonants and the flow of the sentences make this language so lucid yet dreamy.
Like all European languages, French too has its roots in Vulgar Latin (called so because it was spoken with the common dialects and not because it is full of explicit) and hence you can find similarities in the grammar with that of Spanish, German and even Greek.
Learning French is easy and with some concentration, a person can grasp the tones and pronunciations in no time. The grammar too is easy with the sentence structuring being not as rigid as English.
For example, in English, the subject determines the verb, and the object is secondary, but in French, the verb-subject-object relation in interdependent with the verb, often having the determining factor on which noun/pronoun will be the subject and which will be the object.
It’s easy! And having its roots and word origins in Latin, there are words which will share the same meaning and similar pronunciation in both, like Father is derived from padre in Latin, and in French it is père. Mother is a derivation of mater in Latin and in French it becomes mère.
In our everyday lives, we often pick up words and phrases which have their origin in other languages but we have adapted most from French.
Phrases like Bon appetite ( translates to eat well or enjoy your food), Bon voyage (meaning good journey), and we are all familiar with Déjà vu, cliché, touché, chauffer, en route, and boutique, couture, bouquet, chic being used by fashionistas.
French has always been a part of our communication even though we have been ignorant about it for so long.
Just as the same, there are words from English which are used in French as it is, like connection, television, comfortable, table but the difference lies in the pronunciation.
French is more phonetic, as with other Romance Languages, and the spelling is often spelled out aloud as it is but the phonological differences lies in the linguistical differences of the vowels and consonants.
For instance, in French alphabet, ‘S’ and ‘T’ are often silent. Cat in French is spelled as le chat and pronounced as le shay. You will notice that, like every romance languages, French is gender oriented.
In English, the gender of the noun does not affect the verb and the adjective of the entire sentence but in French, that is the case. The gender of the subject noun determines the gender and the structure of the entire sentence.
For example, un homme bon is one good man and une bonne femme is a good woman. The man and the woman being the subject, the adjective and the article changes with it.
Some basic conversation starters which you can practice are:
Comment vous appelez-vous? – what is your name?
Je viens de (place name) – I am from (place name)
J’habite à/ Je habite a – I live in
Je vous remercie – Thank you
Bonjour! – Hello
Oui/ Non – Yes/ No
S’il vous plait – Please
Though online courses are available and you have various apps to help you, good French learning books and dictionaries are way more helpful. By buying French books you will even learn to read French.
You can enroll in private French lessons and you can also find French tutors online. But, the best way to learn a language is to get familiarized with their culture which includes their literature, cuisine, music, movies, and habits.
You can read books and you can listen to music. Enrique has been so helpful with having many of his songs in both versions!
You can even label your everyday items with their French versions; this will help you learn the words easily! Like computer can be labeled as l’ordinateur, so on and so forth.
And of course, the easiest way to learn French would be joining some classes or finding a French tutor online. You will also find French conversation lessons online.
Learning basic French is easy and with proper guidance and dedication on your part, you can master this sensuous language in no time. After all, what is more enchanting than the intoxicating blend of continental food and some flirty French!
And the best part? By learning one romance language, you can easily master some more! French, Spanish, German, Greek, or Italian your pick.