10 keys to become fluent in French
Key #1: Loving languages
Do I need to remind you that loving languages is a major factor in achieving fluency in French? Of course not! Everybody knows that when you love something, you put all your heart into it; you invest yourself fully; you work hard, and all this with the greatest pleasure !
Key #2: Have a specific objective
Learning French to achieve a specific objective is also an extremely important motivating factor :
- Professional objective : in some countries, mastering the French language is a huge asset. The first profession we think of is that of French teacher.
But more and more companies consider that speaking French is a significant asset. While English remains the essential language, French can help you stand out from other candidates.
- Graduation : French is an international language; it is very popular and is therefore taught a lot in schools and universities. Acquiring a good level of French can therefore make it easier for you to obtain your diplomas. I have already met people who did not graduate because of poor marks in French ; and this while they were studying at a university unrelated to that language !
- Want to live in a French-speaking country : many people dream of living in France, or in other countries that are totally or partially French-speaking, such as Quebec. It goes without saying that such an objective requires the learning of French. While it is advisable to acquire a good foundation, it is even more desirable to be fluent, so that you can communicate with people and cope with everyday life.
- Finally, why not, one may want to learn a language for sentimental reasons, namely to marry a person whose mother tongue is French.
No need to say that to be successful in a couple, you have to be able to communicate easily and clearly. It is imperative to be able to express your feelings to your partner, to exchange everyday words, or to solve problems that no couple is exempt from.
Key #3: Stay in a French speaking country
To learn French, nothing beats going to a country where you speak French. If you spend time in France, in addition to seeing the Eiffel Tower and enjoying good food, you will make giant leaps in your language skills. Indeed, you will be immersed in a completely French-speaking world. Moreover, there is nothing better to progress in a language than to practice it with native speakers.
Key #4: Learn vocabulary
Learn new words every day, or at least 6 days a week (don’t grumble, you’ll get your break) 🙂
Make a sentence of your own by using each new word ; this will help you to memorize it. Indeed, words are made to be used, and the best way to do this, is to introduce them into sentences. Use these sentences in writing, but also orally. Try to find people to talk to; otherwise, a blank page will do. Don’t hesitate to talk to yourself either : it’s better than not talking at all and letting your new words rot in a corner of your brain.
Review a fixed amount of vocabulary each day (which you will determine according to your abilities) ;
Write the vocabulary with its translation in a notebook or Excel file ; and don’t forget, as I said earlier, to write an example sentence for each word.
Learn each word in both languages : from the target language (the one you want to learn) to the source language (mother tongue) and from the source language to the target language (version and theme).
Quickly review the last list of words you learned before you learn the new one.
Key #5: Study basic grammar rules
Few people are passionate about grammar. With its countless rules, this science often seems daunting. And yet, acquiring basic grammar skills is an essential step towards mastering the French language, and languages in general.
Certainly French grammar is not the easiest. But by proceeding step by step, without wanting to swallow the Bescherelle or the Grevisse in a single bite, you will be able to obtain in châ Allah a solid foundation, and sufficient to fully understand what you are reading and hearing. Indeed, if vocabulary is fundamental to speak a language, grammar is no less important to understand it.
Key #6: Be consistent in your learning
The best learning is the one that is done regularly, even in small quantities. Work your French in a REGULAR way : it is better to work a language for 15 minutes a day all year round than to study it for 6 hours a day for one week, then stop for a month. Does the fable of the hare and the turtle mean anything to you? 🙂
Key #7: Learn idioms
Here is one of the most essential things if you want to not only manage in French, but become a true expert. Indeed, it is through the assimilation and use of idioms that we recognize people who are truly competent in a language.
When you learn an idiomatic expression, do not change a single word, otherwise it will lose its idiomatic character. So if you learn the expression "Quand les poules auront des dents"(when hens have teeth), don't say "Quand les canards auront des dents" (when the ducks have teeth); you would risk arousing, not admiration, but a laugh !
Key #8: Listen to audios or watch videos in French
Listening to audios, listening to French radios or watching videos in authentic French is one of the most useful things to help you progress in your learning. Indeed, it is not always easy to go to a French speaking country; nor is it always easy to find and exchange with people whose mother tongue is French. Audios and videos are therefore an excellent way to overcome that problem. Be careful, however, to choose as many documents as possible in accordance with our Islamic religion. Indeed, if learning a language is useful, it does not legitimate disobeying our Creator. It is not always easy, but we must do our best.
Key #9: Choose a competent teacher
Certainly if you like languages, and if you are an assiduous student, you will succeed in châ Allah in achieving good, even very good results in French. However, be careful not to choose a bad teacher. Indeed, how many students have learned wrong things from a poorly qualified teacher and have kept these defects for years. I am thinking in particular of the accent. If you learn French with a teacher who has a bad accent, it may take you a very long time to get rid of it. The choice of a competent teacher is therefore very important.
Key #10: Never give up !
"Last but not least" have an iron will. Never let yourself be discouraged. You will probably go through moments of discouragement and then maybe you will say to yourself: "Frankly, I think French is not for me. Spelling and grammar are too complicated..." This is precisely where we must not give up, but roll up our sleeves and redouble our efforts. You will see that these difficult moments are only milestones to be reached.
If you never give up, you will reap the rewards of your efforts in cha Allah. At that moment you will forget all the fatigue, all the difficult moments, all the frustrations you have felt, and, proud of yourself, you will give thanks to Allah for having fulfilled you with this immense benefit : mastering a second language, being fluent in French. You will thank Allah for being able to talk to your French customers in their language, for being able to manage easily during your travels in France, Belgium, or Senegal...
To conclude, I would say that to become fluent in French, it certainly takes effort; but it is worth it. Indeed, speaking French means opening up to the world, broadening your horizons ; it also means acquiring the key to a vast and rich cultural universe. Finally, mastering a new language is nothing less than contemplating the universe from a brand new angle.
Author : Zakaria
Try the flipbook version of this article