I wanted to go to Quebec, Canada for work, however, when I visited local immigration agencies, the advisers told me its a huge advantage to learn French. I hesitated at first because I have to look for a school that offers language classes. Not only that, the tuition for language classes are quite expensive and are only open when there are enough students in a class.
I took it anyway. Luckily, I was just a short ride away from a university that offer language classes. I enrolled and I waited for the class to fill. Once the class had begun, I was stuck. In a good way.
Our professeur, Mélissa, is a Fil-Canadian citizen. She had lived in Vancouver (or was it Montreal?). She had been learning French in her school and she also had French tutors. Aside from teaching French, she teaches music as well; she is a violinist.
On the first day in French 1, she told me that I looked familiar to her. I found out later that my brother and sister where her brother’s choir students.
We started with the very basics. It was like being in nursery school. We had to learn the alphabet and how each letter was pronounced in French. We learned very basic conversations like on how to introduce oneself. Every time she poses a question, she directs it at me first before she would ask another student.
My classmates were absolute fun to be with. We’re a bunch of goofballs teasing each other (in the French language, of course). Even our teacher joined in with the banter. Our supposed to be 17:30-19:30 class would end at 20:00 or sometimes close to 21:00 because of it. Not only that, we always bring food to share. Or we would sometimes order food to be delivered.
When we are not in class, our professeur sometimes texts us in French and we have to reply in French as well. It was to help us improve our language and communication skills. She was very strict with grammar and spelling.
Outside of the classroom, my classmates and I would often try communicate in French as well. Overall, I had fun learning the language. Learning another language gives you an edge. I had realized that I like studying French. I’m adding it to my repertoire of skills.
French is one of the Romance Languages, and we are not talking about love.
The Romance languages—sometimes called the Latin languages, and occasionally the Romanic or Neo-Latin languages—are the modern languages that evolved from spoken Latin between the sixth and ninth centuries A.D. and that thus form a branch of the Italic languages within the Indo-European language family.
Today, around 800 million people are native speakers worldwide, mainly in Europe and the Americas, but also elsewhere. Additionally, the major Romance languages have many non-native speakers and enjoy widespread use as lingua francas. This is especially the case for French, which is in widespread use throughout Central and West Africa, Madagascar, Mauritius and the Maghreb region.
The five most widely spoken Romance languages by number of native speakers are Spanish (410 million), Portuguese (216 million), French (75 million), Italian (60 million), and Romanian (25 million). [source]
Unlike English, French has a formal form and an informal form of addressing a person. The informal form is used to address close friends, family, and in everyday conversational french. The formal form is the polite form and is used when getting an interview, addressing a teacher, a stranger, etc.
It wasn’t hard to learn French. On a difficulty scale of 1-5, 5 being the most difficult and 1 being the least, I’d rate this a 2.5. You have to stock up on your vocabulary, though. Good news! Some of the words are almost similar to English so it won’t be difficult for a beginner to learn. As for grammar, it is the same with English with very minimal exceptions.
TAKING A STEP FURTHER
I had already finished French 2 (with the same people!) and had taken the DELF (diplôme d’études en langue française) A1 level. I had put in effort during study sessions at a local café prior to the exam. I bought a book that would help me learn more about sentence structure and grammar, watch movies, listening to songs, and consult YouTube videos and sample DELF exams.
Presently, I study some more when I can. I have plans on taking the A2 and B1 levels, and enrolling in French 3.
I don’t think I’m that good as I was once was. I don’t have anyone to converse with. HAHA! I content myself with watching French movies and listening to songs.
Did you enjoy this post? What other languages have you learned/studied? Was it difficult for you to learn a new language? Tell me about it. Comment down below. Thanks for reading!