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How to Learn Conversational French Quickly

Updated on May 7, 2011

Sesame Street in French

Basic French Lesson Video

Major Tips for Learning Basic French

While finding a high quality French Language Course definitely helps, there are many other factors that make a difference when it comes to learning basic conversational French, and even if you have one of those top notch courses like Rosetta Stone or Rocket Language Learning then there are still other tips to help you learn French more quickly.

  1. See if you can find a native French speaker to practice your French on. A great place to look is any college to talk to exchange students who may happily tutor you a few hours a week for a very reasonable price. Nothing beats natural conversation.
  2. Immerse yourself in the language. Find French music. Watch French TV or movies (without the subtitles), especially if you can find children's shows like Sesame Street.
  3. Workout three times a week, and study for an hour immediately after working out. Studies have shown the brain is clear, active, and an absolute sponge in this time period after a major workout. Studying during these times will help you learn more French faster.
  4. Use images with sounds. Stimulating the visual along with the audible makes it much more likely that you will retain what you learn from your time studying French.
  5. Study a little bit before bed to also keep your subconscious mind on learning French even as you're resting.
  6. Study daily. Learning a new language takes time and dedication and you need to be consistent if you want to see results.

Other Learning French Aides

There are many less expensive French language learning aides other than Rosetta Stone or Rocket Language Learning. The best piece of information or advice I can give to someone going for a cheaper beginner's French guide is to look for something with an audio CD at the very list. While a disk with pictures is even better, an audio CD can work and is much better than just a book without anything verbal to listen to. Seeing familiar letters doesn't mean you know how to enunciate them properly in another language. Look for CDs that go along with a book so you can get used to reading French with the right sounds, as this is a critical skill that can help you think in French: and that's the key to really making major advances in learning the language.

And if in doubt on whether or not the book or CD you're looking at is worth the payment, just remember that is as good as any site anywhere for finding honest consumer feedback.   Look for the stars and make your choice accordingly.

A Few Notes on the French Language

French is a Romantic Language, which means its origins come from the Roman Empire and its root language of Latin. This is why French shares the same alphabet, and has many words and very forms that will look very similar to other Romantic languages like Spanish, Italian, Romanian, and many other dialects that are related to each of those languages, as well. There are many branches of dialects and languages that form off of conventional French and might be hard to recognize such as Creole, Provincial, or Basque. French is also going to sound different from one nation to another. Just as British English, American English, and Australian English can sound very different at times, spoken French in Quebec, Haiti, and France can sound very different from one another.

One final note: as someone who is a native English speaker and first learned Spanish as a foreign language, if you learned Spanish first you will want to pay special attention to how the written pronunciation is far different with French.  Many words between French and Spanish languages look exactly the same, but sound 100% completely different.  Be aware of the adjustment.

Other Links of Interest

There are many different languages out there to learn, and if you enjoyed the content of this page but French isn't your thing, or you've already mastered the basics, then feel free to take a look at some of these other pages that could be of interest.

Learning Business Japanese Language

Learning Basic Chinese Language

Learning Basic Conversational Spanish

Blog Post on Learning Any Language in 3 Months

Learn Arabic Language

Learning Hindi

Quick Language Learning Review Website

Comments on Learning French: Share Your Tips!

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    • profile image

      6 years ago

      thank you

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for a very helpful hub.