I was immediately hooked when I visited France for the first time. I fell in love with the way they drank their wine; I fell in love with the passionate performers in the streets; I fell in love with the elegant way they added butter to their bread.
I fell in love with their small coffee shops and the way they romanticize smoking a cigarette with a shot of espresso. I even tried escargot and thought it was delicious.
I thought France was an absolute dream; I was mesmerized by the beauty of this country. I thought everything they did was elegant and classy.
Not only did I want to learn French, but I also wanted to be French. Sad truth is, I couldn’t say “bonjour” without sounding like a chipmunk choking on a walnut.
I wanted to understand what they were saying so badly; I wanted to understand the conversations and whispers uttered on the corner of that small coffee shop. I wanted to be able to ask for a chocolate croissant; I wanted to speak the language of love.
The first thing I did when I got back home was sign up for an online class. I wanted to learn French on my own and I was determined to achieve that by the next time I visit France. I also did a couple of things that helped me speed up the process because I was supposed to be back in France in three months for work!
Below are the best ways to learn French on your own.
1- Sign Up For A Beginner Class Online
Okay, you have to start somewhere and you have to learn the basics. Don’t jump right into watching French movies and songs without even learning basic sentences and conversational skills; you will get intimidated and run the other direction. French people speak extremely fast and you won’t be able to pick up on words that you’re not familiar with.
A French beginner class will immensely help you in learning the basic skills you need to carry on. You will be taught the French letters and numbers. In addition, you will be able to introduce yourself, ask and answer basic questions, learn the most important verbs and you will be able to use possessive adjectives.
2- Hello French Netflix
One of the best movies I’ve ever watched was on Netflix in French; French people are super cinematic!
In the beginning, watch movies and shows with English subtitles, then slowly transition your way into watching these movies without the subtitles. I used to feel so proud of myself every time I understood one word of what they’re saying! I was also able to measure my progress this way; I knew I was doing a great job when I started understanding what they were saying.
If you want to go the extra mile, you can keep a notebook near you for words that you find interesting and write them down. This way, you will increase the likelihood of remembering the word and start using it in sentences.
One thing you will notice: Conversational French is nothing like formal French.
3- French Music Is Divine
You don’t know what music is until you listen to a French song. The romance, the beauty, the poetry…ugh! I can absolutely say that the best-written songs in the world are French.
I think that French people are natural performers and they romanticize music and love; I mean, they basically live in a love song.
Bonus tip: Watch the singers’ live performances on Youtube…you can thank me later!
Imagine how good it would feel when you start understanding the lyrics of a song! Imagine how good it would feel when you start singing along in French!
4- Instagram Pages
Did you know that Instagram isn’t only for fashionistas and vloggers? It’s also a great platform to learn languages for FREE!
Wouldn’t it be nice to learn new words each day simply by scrolling through your Instagram?
There are actually bloggers who have pages dedicated specifically for this very purpose. They teach you new words every day in a fun and easy way; plus, it won’t take much of your time! You can do it while you’re scrolling your Instagram while drinking your morning cup of coffee!
5- Youtube Is Your New Best Friend
If you don’t have the budget to take an online class, just go to Youtube. There are a gazillion educational videos and you don’t have to spend a dime! You will have many tutors dying to teach you French, for FREE!
If you want to do this right, it’s preferred to choose one or two teachers that you like their teaching style and commit to watching every video. This way is better for consistency reasons and for you to learn what you need to learn in chronological order.
One more thing, if you need clarification on some point, they’re more than happy to respond to any comment you post on the comment section!
6- Conversation Is Key
One of the best-proven ways to pick up a language fast is conversing in that language. Plus, it’s easy to pick up the pace because English and French have so many words in common.
You can join online communities and groups; they are everywhere on all social media platforms. You can literally find them on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn and Youtube.
It’s also a great way to meet French people, converse with them and even attend actual gatherings. How great would it be to attend a cheese and wine party and speak with actual French people, in addition to eager learners of the language?