It does take some time and effort to learn French, but it is relatively easy. Since French and English are closely related, I agree that French is one of the easiest languages for English speakers to learn.
It helps a lot to have such a common vocabulary! Yes, French pronunciation and grammar can sometimes be tricky. The majority of the difficulties I discovered while researching this article. You don’t need to worry about them.
You don’t worry about potential obstacles when you’re driving a car to a new destination. Set your destination in your GPS, anticipate obstacles, and keep driving until you reach your destination. Put another way, set a learning goal, keep correcting yourself, and keep practicing until you reach it.
Setting challenging goals, finding appropriate materials, finding a tutor who suits you, and enjoying the learning process is all important.
The effort will be worth it!
Why Is French Considered Easy To Learn?
The only difference between French and English is the accent on vowels and the c cédille (ç). Apart from that, all 26 letters remain the same.
Originally a Germanic language, English has evolved over time under the influence of other Germanic languages, such as Latin and French. As a result of William the Conqueror’s conquest of England in 1066, Old English developed during the Middle Ages.
There has been a significant contribution to English from the French lexicon. A majority of modern English vocabulary has French roots, according to estimates. Although some words have changed spelling or pronunciation (giraffe, boeuf, protocols, etc.), there are many similarities between the two languages.
Additionally, many French words have English roots as well (un parking place, un gentleman, un hamburger, un job), as English has become the world’s most widely spoken language.
These words are valuable assets for expanding your vocabulary as a native English speaker. Some words may look the same in both languages, but their meanings are different!
What Factors Make French Hard To Learn?
The complex grammar and linguistic nuances of French make it difficult to learn for those who have never studied another European language, especially a Romance languages like Spanish or Portuguese.
Speaking French can also be challenging! It can be difficult for English speakers to pronounce certain sounds, such as nasal sounds, the letter “R,” or some frequently silent letters.
The following are some of the language’s notorious difficulties:
In French, false friends are words that look identical or similar but have different meanings, which can make a sentence confusing and tricky for beginners! Here are a few examples:
- Actuellement means right now, not “actually”
- Hasard is a chance, a coincidence, or a random event and not a hazard.
- The word “pain” means bread, not actual physical pain (Both are turn-ons, don’t judge).
There are many more false friends out there. Due to their misleading nature, “false friends” were originally coined by French linguists as “false friends of translators.”
In French, there are many forms and tenses – you won’t use them all every day, but they are nonetheless important when describing the subjunctive, conditional nature of life. As a result of the sheer number of tenses in French, the sequence of tenses is more complex.
In English, there are around 200 irregular verbs, and regular verbs always conjugate in the same way. There are many irregular verbs in French, and conjugation can be difficult to remember.
Therefore, you don’t have to worry about the intricate gears of French conjugation, since many of these forms and tenses are exclusive to literature, and you’ll only need a few for conversational French.
Gender Differences Between French And English
Generally, in English, “he” and “she” denote gender for people, whereas in French all nouns are gendered. In English, “it” is used for any inanimate object, idea, or concept, while “they” and “them” are used when the gender of someone is unknown.
The pronoun “on” may be mistakenly introduced as an equivalent to “it”, but it is actually an impersonal pronoun that can replace “we”, “you”, “they”, “someone”, or “people” in French.
Living Beings’ Gender
It is fairly straightforward in English to differentiate between masculine and feminine gender: a man / a woman, a male gorilla / a female gorilla.
The French grammatical gender of all living things is determined by doubling the final consonant and adding an “e” at the end:
- un chien / une chienne (a dog)
- un chat / une chatte (a cat)
- un lion / une lionne (a lion)
It is possible to specify the grammatical gender of a noun as an adjective without changing the noun itself:
- un gorille mâle / une gorille femelle (a gorilla)
- une girafe mâle / une girafe femelle (a giraffe)
- une hirondelle mâle / une hirondelle femelle (a swallow)
In addition, some words are spelled differently based on their gender:
- un homme (a man) / une femme (a woman)
- un cheval (a horse) / une jument (a mare)
- un cerf (a deer) / une biche (a doe)
It is generally understood that trees are masculine (un sapin, un chêne, un pomme, un olive), whereas fruits and flowers are generally feminine (un rose, un tulipe, un pomme, un olive), except if they are exotic (un avocat, un durian) with the usual exceptions (a citron, a kiwi, a tournesol, a pissenlit).
Inanimate objects, concepts, and ideas are often gendered arbitrarily:
Une baguette, un pain au chocolat, une table, un tabouret, une idée, un projet, une chanson, un film, un avion, une voiture.
Unfortunately, gendered nouns can be the most challenging to master. Even native speakers can sometimes get confused with the gender of a word when learning the grammatical gender of every single word.
Plurals And Subject-verb Agreement
Except for some irregular nouns (men, knives, teeth, mice), adding -s or -es usually works in English.
In the case of collective nouns: schools of fish, flocks of crows, prides of lions, convocations of eagles, packs of dogs, regiments of flamingos, etc., it is rarely a guessing game.
Our lessons cover some exceptions to the rule of adding -s to a word to make it plural in French.
American English tends to use singular collective nouns, while British English tends to use plural collective nouns. In some contexts, a family can be used as a singular or plural noun, but a Famille will always be singular.
It is not possible to differentiate between genders or plural forms of adjectives in English. The -s ending is used when verbs are conjugated irregularly or in the third person singular.
Some French words are spelled differently due to their connections with each other. Besides changing articles, adjectives, and verbs according to the noun they accompany, the language also has irregular verbs (third-group verbs); Some adjectives lack gender.
The rules for verb conjugation depend on the structure of the sentence (syntax), so that’s only the tip of the iceberg!
All French-speaking countries have a better understanding of French pronunciation. While all the silent consonants and similar sounds such as “é”, “è”, and “ê” seem quite difficult, it’s actually quite simple to learn.
In English, many nouns, especially proper nouns and place names, are difficult to pronounce for native speakers (Montpellier, Montrachet, Bourg-la-Reine, exam), but there are some exceptions (OIgnon, MONsieur, seCond, tAON).
Because of the many silent consonants, spelling in French can be scary, but English also has its fair share of difficult words. Do you remember “ough”?
How To Start Learning French In A More Easy Way
In your quest to become fluent in French, you should also remember that some English words are very similar to French words.
In spite of the fact that learning French in a day is almost impossible, the materials you use to learn the language can dramatically improve your French. In the end, it doesn’t matter how fast you learn French, but how you do it.
Is it easy to learn French? That’s all right. It’s not as difficult as you think!
Ultimately, the answer depends on a few factors:
- The motivation you have
- Using the right materials
- Languages that you speak
- How much time do you devote to learning the language each week
What can you do to make learning easier?
You Must Be Motivated
Make sure you have the right motivation. A serious amount of effort goes into learning any language. Provide a list of reasons why you are interested in learning French. Take on the challenge of speaking French and become obsessed with it.
It would be a pity if you gave up without enough motivation.
Plan Your Actions Seriously
Creating a plan for how you will achieve your goals makes learning French more enjoyable. Be realistic; ‘speaking fluent French by the end of this year’ sounds cool, but it’s not very specific.
It would be better to work on ‘mini-goals’ that can be achieved within a few months or weeks. You can set the following mini goals for yourself in the first month:
- Learn 100-200 of the most important words and phrases
- Learn how to construct basic sentences
- By the end of the month, hold a basic 10-minute conversation
What actions do you take to achieve these goals?
- Spend 30-60 minutes a day studying with a resource that suits you.
- Three online lessons per week with different sources should be scheduled
It’s Time To Polish Your Knowledge
We’re ready to start in earnest now. You need to find good learning materials that teach you the most important words and phrases first if you want to become conversational quickly.
It can be overwhelming, frustrating, and time-consuming to learn from books that teach you difficult words and tricky grammar.
Rather, learn the basics first!
In order to progress quickly in your new language, it is important to learn the basics first.
80% of the results come from 20% of the work, according to Pareto’s principle (also known as the 80-20 rule). Language learning can also benefit from this principle.
There are hundreds of thousands of words in languages. Native speakers use only a fraction of them every day, and only a fraction of them are words you need in your first conversation.
The first conversation you have in a new language will always be the same:
- What’s your name?
- From where are you originally from?
- What are you doing here?
- Is this where you live?
- Have you studied for a long time?
For your first sentences, you will need words such as I, you, like, can, do, today, want, be, expensive, big, etc.
Knowing only 200 words and knowing how to use them will allow you to say so much. You’ll only be able to say a few words, but it’s a great start!
It was once said by Bruce Lee that “I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times more than I fear the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once.”
Speak French, Even If You Think You Can’t!
Waiting too long to speak can lead to a number of problems:
- The new words you have just learned will help you to memorize them better if you use them in your speech.
- By speaking, you learn what important words you are missing and what basic grammar features you need to understand.
- Having the opportunity to speak a new language is exciting, adds a human element, makes it more ‘real,’ and keeps your momentum going.
- You might ask, “How can I speak a language if I only know 100 words (or less)? ”
It is important to keep two things in mind
- It is important to be creative.
- To learn how to speak with a limited vocabulary, you need a good teacher or conversation partner.
Starting out, your main goal is simply to interact in your target language with the basic words you know.
Keeping the conversation going is more important than what you say at this point.
Errors are 100% allowed!
Practice, Practice, And Practice
There are a number of language learning products that claim to make learning a language almost effortless.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
Often, people fail to learn a language because they lack the motivation and willingness to practice it over a longer period of time. It may seem difficult at first, but with more practice and exposure to the language, it will become easier.
Put in the hours and follow your game plan. In the beginning, you will be able to make rapid progress.
When you’re ready to learn French, you need to start by learning the most important vocabulary at the beginning.
Is French or Spanish easier to learn?
There is no definitive difference between the two languages in terms of difficulty. The first year or so of learning Spanish may be easier than studying French, mainly because beginners are less likely to struggle with pronunciation.
Why is learning French so hard?
French is often difficult to learn because of the complex grammar and linguistic nuances not found in English, especially for those who have never studied another European language, especially a Romance language like Spanish or Portuguese. There are also challenges associated with spoken French!
Is French harder than English?
Even when compared to English, French is one of the easiest European languages to learn.
Is Spanish or French more useful?
There is no doubt that every language has its own importance. Nonetheless, if you live in the United States or plan to travel throughout Latin America, Spanish will probably be of greater use to you. If you’re planning on traveling to or doing business in Canada, knowing French is going to be more helpful – it’s the official language of the country.