French › Introductory lessons › Introduction

French/Lessons/Print version - Wikibooks, open books for an open world

French (Français, /fʁɑ̃sɛ/) is a Romance language spoken as a primary language by round 136 million individuals worldwide. A complete of 500 million communicate it as both a primary, second, or international language. Furthermore, some 200 million individuals study French as a international language. French talking communities are current in 56 nations and territories. Most native audio system of the language dwell in France, the remainder dwell basically in Canada, significantly the province of Quebec, with minorities within the Atlantic provinces, Ontario, and Western Canada, in addition to Belgium, Switzerland, Monaco, Luxembourg, and the U.S. states of Louisiana and Maine. Most second-language audio system of French dwell in Francophone Africa, arguably exceeding the variety of native audio system.

French is a descendant of the Latin language of the Roman Empire, as are nationwide languages reminiscent of Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Romanian and Catalan, and minority languages starting from Occitan to Neapolitan and lots of extra. Its closest family members nonetheless are the opposite langues d’oïl and French-based creole languages. Its improvement was additionally influenced by the native Celtic languages of Roman Gaul and by the (Germanic) Frankish language of the post-Roman Frankish invaders.

It’s an official language in 29 nations, plus the Vatican Metropolis, which type what known as, in French, La Francophonie, the group of French-speaking nations. It’s an official language of all United Nations businesses and numerous worldwide organizations. In response to the European Union, 129 million (or 26% of the Union’s complete inhabitants), in 27 member states communicate French, of which 65 million are native audio system and 69 million declare to talk French both as a second language or as a international language, making it the third most spoken second language within the Union, after English and German. Twenty-percent of non-Francophone Europeans know methods to communicate French, totaling roughly 145.6 million individuals.

As well as, from the 17th century to the mid 20th century, French served because the pre-eminent worldwide language of diplomacy and worldwide affairs in addition to a lingua franca among the many educated courses of Europe. The dominant place of French language has solely been overshadowed just lately by English, for the reason that emergence of the USA as a serious energy.

Because of intensive colonial ambitions of France and Belgium, between the 17th and 20th centuries, French was launched to America, Africa, Polynesia, South-East Asia, and the Caribbean.

Historical past[edit]

Through the Roman occupation of Gaul, the Latin language was imposed on the natives. This Latin language (Basic Latin) finally devolved into what is called Vulgar Latin, which was nonetheless similar to Latin. Over the centuries, resulting from Celtic and Germanic influences (significantly the Franks), la langue d’oïl was developed. A dialect of la langue d’oïl generally known as le francien was the language of the court docket, and thus grew to become the official language of what was to turn into the Kingdom of France, and later the Nation-State of France.

From medieval instances till the 19th century, French was the dominant language of diplomacy, tradition, administration, commerce and royal courts throughout Europe. As a consequence of these components, French was the lingua franca of this time interval.

French has influenced many languages world huge, together with English. It’s via French (or extra exactly Norman, a dialect of la langue d’oïl) that English will get about one third of its vocabulary.

Extent of the language[edit]

The French language on this planet      Areas the place French is the primary language      Areas the place it’s an official language      Areas the place it’s a second language      Areas the place it’s a minority language

In trendy instances, French continues to be a major diplomatic language: it’s an official language of the United Nations, the Olympic Video games, and the European Union. It is usually the official language of 29 nations and the Vatican Metropolis. Spoken in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxemburg, Lebanon, Tunisia, Morocco, Senegal, Haiti, the Ivory Coast, Madagascar, the Congo, Algeria, Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, Togo, Gabon, the Seychelles, Burundi, Chad, Rwanda, Djibouti, Cameroon, Mauritius, and Canada (principally within the province of Québec the place it’s the main language, however it’s also utilized in different elements of the nation). All shopper product packages in Canada are required by regulation to have each English and French labels.

Recommendation on learning French[edit]

See additionally: study a language

French tends to have a status amongst English audio system as laborious to study. Whereas it’s true that it poses sure difficulties to native English-speakers, it might be famous that English can also be thought-about ‘troublesome’ to study, and but we discovered it with out the good thing about already realizing a language. In truth, the French language may be discovered in solely 10 months, if just for the particular objective of passing a standardized check, such because the Take a look at d’Analysis de Français. In response to the Frequent European Framework of Reference for Languages, with a purpose to attain the extent of ‘Impartial Consumer’ (after finishing Degree B2), you could full 400 hours of efficient studying (so when you research four hours per week, each single week of the yr, you would wish two years to realize it). Any manner you take a look at it, studying any new language requires a long-term dedication. Keep in mind, that like every ability, it requires a certain quantity of effort. And it’s possible that if you don’t apply your French recurrently, you’ll start to neglect it. Attempt to make French apply part of your routine; even when it isn’t every day, not less than make it common.

Additionally keep in mind that you’re studying a brand new ability. Attempt to grasp the better ideas earlier than transferring on to the extra complicated. All of us have so as to add and subtract earlier than we will do calculus. French is a whole language; thus, whereas this e book can educate you to learn and write in French, these are solely half of the abilities that make up fluency. A written doc can’t educate a lot about listening to and talking French. You could prepare on all of those abilities, and they’re going to then reinforce each other.

The perfect method to study French is to go to France or one other French-speaking nation. This lets you begin with a clear slate, as infants do. Nevertheless, since most of us are unwilling or unable to take that step, the following best choice is immersion. In case you are critical about studying French, a interval of immersion (throughout which you reside in a Francophone tradition) is a good suggestion after you have some primary familiarity with the language. If you cannot journey to a French-speaking nation, then attempt listening to French-language packages on the radio, TV, or the Web. Hire or purchase French-language films (many American and U.Ok. films have a French language choice). Take note of pronunciation. Seize a French speaker you meet and speak to her or him in French. Pay attention, communicate, and apply. Learn French newspapers and magazines. Google’s information web page, which hyperlinks to French-language information tales, is a wonderful supply that can enrich your vocabulary.

Written versus trendy spoken French[edit]

Whereas the French written language is extremely standardized, and hasn’t modified a lot in over 2 hundred years, the identical can’t be stated of the spoken language. This e book, like all French coaching materials, is oriented in the direction of the written language. The talking examples are straight from the standardized written language. When you had been to turn into an professional on this French, you’d most likely be utterly confused if you arrive in a French talking nation. Not like the written language, the spoken language may be very dynamic. The French individuals wouldn’t readily perceive you, and you wouldn’t perceive them. You possibly can image in your thoughts, an individual studying English from a 2 hundred yr outdated e book, and coming to your city and saying “Hast thou” or “Wherefore artwork thou.”

The rationale written French is pressured in studying (Faculties and Web programs), is that you would be able to go from this standardized language to trendy spoken French a lot simpler than English to spoken French, after which going backwards to studying written French.

A easy instance is: Je ne comprends pas (I do not perceive). For a enterprise individual (not desirous to sound too plebeian) this may be spoken as: Jeun comprends pas, with the Je ne joined collectively. However most individuals on the road simplify this even additional. The ne is deemed redundant and falls by the wayside, and the laborious Je sound is decreased to a sh sound: shcomprends pas. One other instance could be Il ne fait pas … (he/it doesn’t…) leading to y fay pa … (ee-fay-pah), or Il n’y a pas … changing into yapa … (yah-pah…).

French is a language that’s learn, spoken, and sung. Every has completely different guidelines. Lyric and Poetry have pronunciation guidelines which might be completely different than the written, and spoken French has no guidelines compared. Studying written French is just the first step, and trendy spoken French is your step two. This e book is for studying written French.

What ought to I study first?[edit]

Many programs of language research assume you’re going there for trip, and so start their classes with widespread survival phrases that individuals use. There may be a few of that on this e book, however think about that “verbs” are what makes a language. There are six verbs in French that, when memorized, provides you with a head begin when transferring on to studying sentences.

The excellence between a phrase and a sentence, is {that a} phrase doesn’t have a topic or verb. That is why they’re straightforward to study, and a primary a part of trip sort books. You possibly can’t go improper with a phrase. Not like a phrase, a sentence is a grammatical unit. You’ll need nouns, pronouns, adjectives (phrases that modify nouns), adverbs (phrases that modify verbs and adjectives), and many others. A sentence features a topic (what/whom the sentence is about), and a predicate (phrases that inform us concerning the topic). There are additionally various kinds of sentences: declarative (statements), interrogative (questions), exclamative (exclamations), and commandative (instructions). The construction of sentences, and never simply phrases, have to be studied and practiced with a purpose to study a brand new language.

Most necessary, at starting ranges, is to get your French face on. This implies pronunciation is vital. You don’t want to should unlearn something if you get to the following stage. The textual pronunciation examples listed below are primarily based on the Worldwide Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), and needs to be used to organize your thoughts. The IPA symbols are designed by scientists, and aren’t any match to listening to French individuals inside their very own atmosphere. You will need to truly hearken to an actual French speaker at this stage. Use the instance voices contained within the e book, but in addition watch French media on the Web. You need to be cautioned about French songs. It’s acceptable for artists to twist a phrase for type and for rhyme, they usually love to brighten endings. Additionally, you will discover that mutes are pronounced in lyric and poetry. It’s typically the case {that a} singer or poem recitation will say “ewnuh” for une and “veeuh” for vie. You might also notice, to forestall boredom, a lyric could also be “veeuh” on one verse, and “vee” on the following. Examples, as to why songs and poetry are added experiences in studying and having fun with the French language.

The start verbs are:

Simply as in English, you’ll use these as a base to create the fourteen (14) French tenses. Current, Future, Conditional, and many others. Don’t be concerned about tenses for this train. They’re problems that can take months and years to grasp. Usually, solely ten (10) tenses are used apart from superior ranges of French.

The above verbs have to be mastered to even start. You would possibly suppose the listing is just too brief, so be at liberty so as to add verbs into your flash-card rotation.

The following verb examples, which might be necessary to any language, are the motion sort verbs. Whilst you can “have, know, can, and many others” you additionally have to “go, come, or keep” in lots of conversations. These verbs are thought-about primary constructing blocks.

Once more, be at liberty so as to add others to your flash-card rotation.

That brings us to the “Large Seven” French query phrases. These, just like the above will shortly turn into difficult as nicely. The next is clearly simplified, however your understanding at this stage, will shortly get you to the following stage.

/u/ (oo) The place est le taxi ? The place’s the taxi?
Quel (quels, quelle, quelles) /kɛl/ (kel) Which Quel est le problème ?, What’s the issue?
Qui /ki/ (kee) Who Qui a pris mon stylo ? Who took my pen?
Pourquoi /puʀ.kwa/ (poor-kwah) Why Pourquoi êtes-vous ici ? Why are you right here?
Quand /kɑ̃/ (kah(n)) When Quand je suis content material, je souris. After I’m pleased, I smile.
Remark /kɔ.mɑ̃/ (koh-mah(n)) How Remark allons-nous trouver des informations ? How will we discover some data?
Combien /kɔ̃bjɛ̃/ (kohm-byuha(n)) How A lot, How Many Combien ça coûte ?”, “Combien font six et trois ? How a lot does it price ? How a lot is six plus three?

Lastly, one phrase that may be very typically wanted:

ex:Parce que vous êtes trop vieux pour ça !” (Since you are too outdated for this!)

Making flash-cards of all of the above French phrases, memorizing them (ahead to English/backward to French), provides you with a head begin in all French Language programs.

Obstacle of studying by tips[edit]

There are various strategies for college students to study new topics, and the primary methodology is to make use of what are generally known as “tips,” designed to make it simpler (so it could appear). These tips, normally, merely stop the mind from storing the data for direct lookup. One instance is the French phrase chat. We are able to type a rule, whereby anytime you see a ch in French, you’ll substitute a c and voilà – there you go. Others, reminiscent of altering -ment to -ly or -ant to -ing are an analogous waste of time.

A very good instance of the harm that may be completed by these “tips”, is in studying Morse Code. Many lecturers will start by displaying the dit’s and dah’s visually, after which make the sound utilizing the important thing following every image. In order that dah-di-da-dit “-.-.” shall be saved within the mind as a c, and one way or the other (magically) retrieved to be used later.

Alas, this method solely works as much as a sure pace, after which the scholars mind is so broken, they haven’t any hope of utilizing the code any sooner than 10 Phrases Per Minute. It was discovered (within the 1850’s), that when you simply affiliate the entire sound with a letter, and ignore the mixtures of dit’s and dah’s, that new college students listening to 20 Phrases Per Minute for a number of weeks, had been in a position to go to work instantly. A well-known Scottish-American named Andrew Carnegie went from a message boy to go telegraph operator by studying to affiliate sounds with entire phrases, and never simply writing down every character, as the tactic utilized by his friends.

The recommendation provided on this e book, is to keep away from these tips, and to affiliate phrase and sentence sounds with their that means. Take heed to the brand new phrase or sentence, and retailer the that means in your mind. Don’t attempt to translate one language into your native language earlier than responding. When somebody fingers you a stick of /di.na.mit/ (dee-nah-meet) it is best to shortly drop it and run, and never cease to translate it into dynamite first. Merely affiliate the phrase or sentence, however don’t translate it.

If you buy groceries, and listen to clients saying in English “How a lot is that?” then you definitely type an affiliation of that sentence to the individual desirous to know a value. Equally, when you hear individuals out there asking “Combien ça coûte?” you do not have to translate the sentence, you affiliate it with individuals desirous to know a value (or extra typically desirous to know a lower cost whereas smiling seductively on the assistant). After associating ten issues concerning the phrase “Combien” the mind will simplify issues for you, very similar to it pulls the steering wheel along with your arm, after the eyes see a pot-hole forward. Without end extra, “Combien” shall be related to a amount “How a lot”, or “What number of” simply as pot-holes are related to “keep away from.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *