HOW DIFFICULT IS LEARNING FRENCH?
Learning any language requires some commitment and effort, and French is no exception. However, if you’re already speaking English you have a little advantage because French and English have a lot in common.
Have you ever heard these expressions:
“c’est la vie”, “tête à tête”, “excusez-moi”, “joie de vivre”, “raison d’être”, “comme ci comme ça”, “carte blanche”, “cul de sac”,“un je ne sais quoi”, “enfant terrible!”, “fait accompli”, “idée fixe”, “chic”,“déjà vu”, “de rigueur”, “à la mode”, “impasse”, “repartee”, “brunette”, “blasé”, “laissez-faire”, “bon voyage!”, “touché!”, “voilà!”, ...
When speaking English everyday, you might hear or regularly use some borrowed French expressions. However, what you might not realise is that you already know a great deal more than these typical French sayings. How much more? Lots and lots more! In fact you already know thousands of French words.
For example, you probably know:
fruit, certitude, avenue, mayonnaise, catalogue, miracle, restaurant, octave, orange, impact, conversation, normal, satire, client, questionnaire, niche, usage, parachute, importance, carafe, imaginative, habitat, machine, artiste, direct, possible, experience, ...
During the 11th century, the Norman conquerors brought to England the French and Latin languages by which they ruled the country. The influence of French continued, in the centuries that followed, and became a compelling force in the growth and development of English. Over 300 years later, when English was finally re-established as the language of the English King and Court, thousands of French words were already well incorporated, even into the local vernacular.
French is now acknowledged for its extraordinary contribution to the English language: linguists say that between 50 - 60 % of English comes from French and its Latin roots. In other words, French and English have plenty of words in common.
It’s estimated that an English speaker who has never studied French already knows 15 000 French words! So there really is no need to start from scratch!
At Speak French Now, you’ll learn techniques to immediately call to mind hundreds of French words, without having to make any effort to memorize them and with a few tips on pronunciation, you’ll be able to use them right away.
This way, you’ll build vocabulary very quickly and you won’t feel like you’re trudging around at the bottom of a mountain, you’ll move ahead by leaps and bounds in your progress to the top!