Start Learning French

Start Learning French

Want to start learning French but don’t know how? This is a comprehensive beginner’s guide about how to do just that. Learning a new language can be daunting at times so this article will discuss where to begin learning French, what materials and topics to start with.

Where to begin?

I think the first step to learning a new language is to start with key vocabulary. Remember that throughout the whole process, pronunciation and retention of the material you learn (practicing), are extremely vital. IF you learn something incorrectly, then you’ll have a super hard time fixing your error down the road (for example, you get into the habit of mispronouncing “Bonjour” (hello).. it will take less work to learn it right the first time and more effort to correct yourself).

Vocabulary (verbs, nouns, and adjectives, etc) are the basis of any sentence or conversation. Here are some common French topics which beginner French classes often focus on (and thus, you should focus on too):

1. French Greetings

Simple expressions such as: how to say: hello, good bye, how are you, my name is…, what’s your name? I am (american, a dentist, a tourist, etc)…

2. Numbers, Weather expressions, How to Tell time, The French Alphabet

These topics should be next up on your list to learn… How do you count from one to ten, a hundred, a million, a BILLION in French? Read this tutorial if you don’t know how. Talking about the weather is one of the best ways to break the ice with anyone! Il fait très beau dehors! Time, such as how to ask for the time or how to tell somebody the time.

3. Learn the 6 possible French pronouns in a sentence

This is he first step to learning simple sentences with people. How do you say: I, you, him, her, we, and they?

4. Super Important French Verbs (PRESENT TENSE FIRST)

You need to learn how to conjugate (use the correct verb tense with the correct speaker). The 4 most important French verbs are être (to be), aller (to go), faire (to do), and avoir (to have). Also, start to learn verbs that end in -ER, such as danser (to dance), écouter (to listen), parler (to talk), aimer (to love/like), etc.

5. Common French Nouns

You need to learn the words AND genders for things like: family members (mom, dad, brother, etc), places (my house, the park, the movie theater), Household items (the television, the telephone, the bed), Food (an apple, a glass of water), transportation (an airplane, a car, a bike), Days and Months (Wednesday, April)

6. Adjectives

Simple adjectives such as good, bad, new, young, old, fun, happy, sad. Colors are useful to know.

7. Touristy Vocabulary and Expressions

How to ask for directions, how to order Food in French, how to buy things, etc

8. How to formulate YOUR OWN sentences

Using the proper noun, verb, and maybe an adjective, try to create your own sentences! Not predetermined expressions which you’ve memorized. For example, tell somebody you have a dog “J’ai un chien” only requires the use of a subject (je), a verb (avoir), and an object (mon chien).

9. Past Tense

Learn how to put an -ER verb into the past tense.

Let me just say that it’s difficult to get a beginner’s foothold with any language without the aid of a teacher; whiter that be a French class, French tutor, French person/family member, computer program, or French videos/audio files. If you want to learn French well, I recommend finding a teacher.

Valuable tips for Language learners:
1. Immersion, when used properly, is the utmost best way to learn a language.
2. Daily exposure to French is required, ideally a few hours a day. Make sure you incorporate French into your everyday routine (don’t think pencil, thing un crayon).
3. PRACTICE is key to mastering anything. Review vocabulary words multiple times. In addition, be eager to practice your French with other language learners or French people, even if it’s just saying bonjour!
4. Do not get flustered by mistakes, learn from them.
5. Set reasonable goals/ expectations for yourself. Don’t expect to become fluent, by teaching yourself, in a year… that’s setting yourself up for failure. Rather, say: “I want to learn __________, by time my vacation in France next year.”
6. Make sure you make this journey FUN for yourself. Nobody likes to do tasking, boring work. Reward yourself by listening to French music, or reading into the culture you are trying to understand better.

French is a complex, yet rather beautiful language. For whatever reason, it’s great you want to start learning it! When learning a new language you should put a lot of time, hard work, and effort to really excel. The satisfaction and language comprehension you’ll gain is definitely worth it.

So what are you waiting for? Check out some of these articles:
How Long Does it take to become Fluent in French?
How to Increase my French Vocabulary?

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