Tips for studying French

I thought I would share some tips on learning the French language which I normally share with my first year students. Even though you are studying French for reading knowledge; however you might find these tips very helpful to you (I hope).

Listening

  • Careful listening is a major part in learning a new language. Listen carefully to what is going on in class. Pay close attention to (your professor’s) pronunciation. Ask questions if you don’t understand. Don’t be afraid to ask your professor to repeat the word so you know exactly how to say/pronounce it.

Speak

  • If you are serious about learning French (beyond reading knowledge) you ought to practice speaking French every day. Speak French to your teachers and classmates. Don’t be afraid to make silly mistakes (Who care?). After all French is not your native tongue. Although most students of theology will find this aspect of the target language unhelpful since they only need to acquire the reading knowledge of French.

Practice

  • Students of language have an idea about the art of practicing. You know that from taking Greek & Hebrew in seminary?  The fact is this –Guys learning a new language requires practice and repetition. It is like to play a sport or an instrument.

Reading

  • Start reading French on your own. Don’t wait for your professor to give you reading assignment. You can go online and try to read French (I will link you to some useful sites). It will be worth it to buy a French Bible (Louis Segond version is a very good translation). I was able to get a French Bible for only $ 8.00 from lifeway Christian stores (www.lifeway.com).  Start with the Gospel of John. It is the easiest one to start with and read.

Organize

  • As you learn French, your memory is going to be stretched out, so it is critically important to know how to organize your material efficiently. Look for Cognates ( Cognates are words that look similar and have the same meaning in French and English (i.e. chocolat, musique, vacances, etc).  Once you recognize which words are cognates, you can then spend more of your time studying the words that are not.

Have Fun!

  • Learning French can be fun and frustrating. You are the Boss! Determine if you are going to make this beautiful language an enjoying experience.

Au revoir (Bye Bye)

  

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2 Responses

  1. This is also true for other languages. But very important: never stop, read weekly a page in French (or the other foreign language). I stopped reading French about 20 years ago, and almost everything is forgotten 😦

  2. Thanks Lou, good tips.

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