How long to learn to speak French ? 1 month

Hi, Welcome all on Fast French Learning, the blog to Learn and Improve your French 🇫🇷 😀

Some people say « do not try to learn a foreign language but do everything to acquire them ». So, the big question is « how did you learn your mother tongue ? », « how did you learn a language when you were a child ? ». If you watch the toddlers learning you are going to see that they do not learn the grammar rules, they do ot use flashcards,… They are capable of remembering the language easily, they acquire it. When you are learning languages at school you feel like it is a mandatory, you do not feel like it is a pleasure to do it. From the beginning they study the conjugation rules, the tenses, but it is not really learning a language.

Why do you want to learn a foreign language ?

The first thing to do is to know why you want to learn a foreign language. Keeping the motivation up is very important. The idaea is to have an interest for a lot of things. You are going to have motivation naturally for some of them and it is going to be harder for some others. The French language is very beautiful. You are going to appreciate that the person I am talking with understand everything of what I am saying.

We are talking about Input

In terms of learning a new language the input is very important. The toddlers are learning new languages because of the context.

Let us see the following example : Je suis tombée de mon vélo et j’ai laissé tomber ma glace. (I fell off my bike and dropped my ice cream). If you do not understand the French language, for you this phrase has no meaning. I suggest you to create a mental picture of it. So, now as you can read the sentence in English you know the meaning, but imagine that you only have a mental picture. You ca, easily imagine the word tombée means « falling down ». And that the word glace means « ice-cream ». It exists two forms of input : the active input and the passive input.

  • The passive input is, for example, a video, you are doing passive learning when you are watching a viedo.
  • The active learning is being active in your learning, watching a video and writing down the words and phrases I do not know to review them afterward until I get them.

To go further 1

To be able to speak fluently in your target language, you do not need to kow all the words of the language. I think that you do not all the words of your mother tongue. I think that 20% of the words of a language give you 80% of the discussions you can have with native speakers. I suggest you to focus on the usual sentences : who-what-when-where-why-how, and the ones like « how do you say…………….in French ? ». Also the usual pronouns : he/she (il/elle),… Here I am introducing you the app Anki which is nice. It uses a famous technique : the spaced repetition system. To learn efficiently and fastly. You ca choose the words you want ot learn, if you ant you can build cards for 1000 words. Here are a few things to know : put cognates on your cards, these are words that sound similar in both your mother tongue and your target language. To be sure to put the words you want to learn in your long term memory, use mnemonics.

To go further 2

There is a moment where you understand almost everything, almost all the words of your target language. At that point in general the majority of people stops to learn in an efficient way.This is the moment when you can go deeper in your target language. So, here I intioduce you several points to do so.

Studying by yourself

Studying by yourself is a very important thing to do, I suggest you to talk to yourself in your target language, you can do that in the shower, you can do it while you are washing the dishes. While doing this you are going to notice the words you do not know and so the ones you need to know to say what you want to say.   

Grammar rules and conjugation rules

I suggest you to know a little bit of French grammar rules and conjugation rules. I suggest you to study the French grammar rules and conjugation rules not to early. Do it when you begin to feel comfortable with your target language.

Evaluate yourself regularly

This is a very important point. It is hard to evaluate yourself when you are learning a language. But do it regulary, every week, every two weeks. Do it on : grammar, reading, writing  and speaking. You can also use the European system for learning languages : the A1-A2-B1-B2.

Pimsleur

Here I introduce you Pimsleur. Native people speak and what you do is you repeat what they are saying. When you are hearing a new word or a new sentence, you are going to repeat it. The pace is slow so you can easily understand what they are saying. It is really helpful and easy to use. One course lasts for 30 minutes, you can listen to it in your car on your way to work, for example. If you just do 30 minutes everyday you will be rewarded. You can do a new course everyday but not s much, if you see that you need to stay one week on just one course, do it. Otherwise there are too many informations to remember : new words, new sentences,…   

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Thank you for reading this article !
Thomas 😀

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