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Learn How to Speak French

Learn How to Speak French

If you are one of those people who are extremely interested in learning languages, you cannot possibly leave French out of your list. For those, who want to learn to communicate in French, don't stop reading.
Komal Bakhru
Learning a new language is always fun. For some it's easier than it is for others, but it is fun nonetheless. You don't need reasons to speak French, or any language for that matter. As long as you're interested, that's all that matters. But how do you go about it? You know that you want to speak French, but there surely must be some rules, regulations or method to follow. Well, there is. Following a few simple steps, along with practice daily is the key here. So, let's start learning how to speak French.
How to Speak French Fluently
The most important aspect of any language is grammar, so it goes without saying that this is your first step towards your journey of learning le français. It is also the best way to learn French. So, how about we get started then?
Step 1 of learning how to speak French can practically be taken for granted. There is hardly any need to specify this, but there is no way that anyone can start learning a language without knowing alphabets and numbers. The alphabets used in French are the same as those used in English. It's the same set of 26 alphabets. What you would however need to focus on is pronunciations. Since books obviously aren't your solution to that, CDs or any other audio materials will come in handy. As for numbers, you could use 'teach yourself kits', because merely reading a book may not do much for your attempt at speaking the language. While books are the perfect source to learn spellings, and other written aspects, you still need to know the spoken part, especially since that is the main purpose of your interest in the language.
Step 2 is learning the accents. It could've been combined and made a part of the above mentioned, but we'd much rather discuss it individually. French is incomplete without the accents. It may come across as an undistinguished feature of the language, but gradual proficiency of the language will make you realize that it isn't so insignificant after all. Accents are mostly used only with vowels, but there are odd exceptions, especially since French is full of exceptions. There are 4 commonly used accents in French. They are:
  • Accent aigu which is only ever used on the letter 'e' (é)
  • Accent grave which is used with vowels 'a, e, u' (à, è, ù)
  • Accent circonflexe which can be used on all vowels (â, ê, î, ô, û)
  • Accent cedille which is the only accent used with a consonant, is used below the letter 'c' (ç)
  • Accent tréma is the fifth accent which is rarely in use, but can be used with vowels 'e, i, u' (ë, ï, ü)
The presence or absence of any of these accents could change the entire meaning of a word. It does take a while to get used to these aspects, but once that happens, you'll be able to work almost mechanically.
Step 3 of your French learning attempt is learning articles and genders. There are 2 categories of articles in French. Definite and Indefinite articles. The use of these articles is based on factors such as gender and number. It is of extreme importance to remember that every word in French has a gender. Take a look at the table to get a better idea of the articles used.

Gender Definite Article Indefinite Article
masculine (singular) le un
feminine (singular) la une
masculine (plural) les des
feminine (plural) les des
Step 4 takes you to learning pronouns. Begin with personal pronouns because you will need them to get around when you want to learn French phrases and other sentence formation. The personal pronouns used in French are as follows...

1st person je nous
2nd person tu vous
3rd person (m) il ils
3rd person (f) elle elles
Once you learn the key basics, you could also move on to learning how to conjugate French verbs. Doing so will make you even more fluent with the language. In fact, one of the best ways to learn to speak French is to practice the given methods with someone who already knows the language well. This will help with your proficiency too.
I hope the given tips, albeit elementary, will help you the next time you are visiting francophone countries (countries that speak French). I'm sure that once you learn to speak this language, you'll want to study it even further. It's a beautiful language, and one you'll surely fall in love with. I know I did.