×

We use cookies to help make LingQ better. By visiting the site, you agree to our cookie policy.


image

Steve's Youtube Videos - General Language Learning, Tips on Learning French (1)

Tips on Learning French (1)

Hi there, this is Steve here. Today, I'm going to talk to you about learning French . French was my first love when it comes to languages. There's an expression in French, in fact. You always go back to your first loves. I love French, I love all the languages that I learn, but I have a special feeling of affection for French. I studied French at school; I couldn't speak at the age of 16. I went to McGill University and had a professor who turned me on. He turned me on to French civilization. To learn a language you've got to really love the language, be committed to the language and want to be part of that community of people who speak that language. That's what happened to me. I got very keen and I ended up going to France for three years where I studied Political Science at [insert French] in Paris.

French is a precise language, it's the language of logic. This was the world at [insert French]. All of our presentations had to be presented from [insert French], part one here [insert French] and this and that. On the one hand this, on the other hand that. Everything had to be presented in a very balanced way, the sort of Cartesian [insert French] formula, which I still use in making presentations. It was a good training not only for my French, but in all languages. Learning to be more, I would say, precise and logical in the way you present your ideas not just running them on, although here I'm making a presentation where I'm just running them on.

So French was the language of logic and I highly recommend French, but French has some difficulties. French is difficult to understand. First of all, it's fairly monotonous. People speak in monotones, it's not English or Swedish or tonal languages, it tends to roll along in a fairly monotonous range of tones. Also, there are the nasal sounds and then the way the sound is carried on to the next word. These are things you have to get used to.

One thing I recommend insofar as pronunciation is concerned is to get used to making the sort of ‘ur' sound. [Insert French] There's lots of ‘ur' and ‘aw' and you kind of have to pick up on that and have it flow through your pronunciation, but it's also a bit of an obstacle when you're listening. They also slur words together, as we do in all languages. Instead of saying [insert French] they say [insert French] and so forth. You should get used to the whole flavor of French. You should become a little more argumentative, but in a nice way. [Insert French] All this kind of stuff is part of the fun of being French or pretending your French and really getting into the language.

Now, I'm getting a little ahead of myself here. As you know, I recommend that in order to learn a language you have to first expose yourself to the language with a lot of listening and reading. Particularly in French if you come up with a few phrases you can say “je m'appelle Steve”, my name is Steve. If you don't understand what they're saying you're lost, so build up your comprehension, build up your vocabulary. It's relatively easy to do in French because 60% or more of the words in English come from Norman French, so you'll find a lot of words that you will recognize. Even though they are obviously pronounced differently and may mean different things in French, this makes learning the vocabulary a lot easier than Russian. There's no point in trying to learn what they call cognates, those words that are similar, upfront. You won't remember them. You'll come across them in your listening and reading, but you'll just find that it's easier to retain the vocabulary.

Now, grammar, obviously the big bugbear in French is the tenses. I feel with grammar you've got to try to simplify. I have a series of grammar books at home I bought, just f or the fun of it, published by Dover. (You can Google and find them on the internet.) None of them is longer than 100 pages; they're very short descriptions of the grammar. That's the kind of book you need to have so that you can refer to the grammar from time to time because in most grammars there aren't that many issues. In fact, I think there's probably 10 or so.

When I went to learn Romanian, I made up 200 sentences in 20 different categories. I had someone translate them and record them and I listened to these patterns of all the different key issues over and over again to get used to how they say things because the issue is how do they say things in that language, rather than complicated grammar explanations or terms we can't deal with, although there are some terms that are useful. The fundamental 10 issues in any language are the following, in my view:

The issue of how they make statements, positive statements, negative statements and questions.

So in French it's [insert French] content. Again, I cognate, happy, [insert French]. I'm happy. [Insert French], I'm not happy. So double [insert French] sandwich the verb. You come across that very early and it seems strange at first, but very, very quickly you get used to it. A question [insert French]? [Insert French] asks the question or you can say [insert French]. So there are two ways of saying are you happy or anything else for that matter.

That's point number one, how do you make these positive or negative statements or how do you ask a question. Not necessarily in any order because verbs are kind of key, but you have to get used to what in English we call the ‘w' words: where, when, why, who, how come, which. Most of those in French start with a q: [insert French], etc. So you get used to those.

Y ou can save them if you're in LingQ, which I very much recommend you do, and if you save them in LingQ of course you get lots of examples. The examples come in two sections in LingQ, either from our library or from lesson you have already studied. The advantage of looking at examples from lessons you have already studied is that you probably know the words. Very often , if you're reading in a grammar book you look at examples, but you don't know the words. That's not so very helpful, so the ‘w' words.

Pronouns I think is another thing again. None of these things are you going to master up front, you just get exposed to them and you start seeing how they perform. So the sort of this, that, these and those words, you need to get used to those. The pronouns [insert French] and how they deal with yours, mine, my, to me. These are the kinds of things revolving around pronouns that you have to get used to.

Gender and number

There are languages, like Japanese, that have no gender, no number, but in French they have both and things like pronouns and adjectives have to agree, even verbs have to agree. What do I mean by agree? [Insert French], I'm a male, so [insert French]. If it was [insert French], she, [insert French], we put an e at the end. Notice how the pronunciation changes. [Insert French], you don't hear the t. That's another thing, by the way, that makes French difficult to understand and difficult to read because a lot of letters are not pronounced. [Insert French], by the way, s-u-i-s, the second s isn't pronounced. [Insert French], the last t isn't pronounced. If it's elle, the second l and the second e are kind of useless. But elle est all you hear is ‘e', the s and t aren't pronounced. [Insert French] because there's an e at the end we hear the t, otherwise we don't. You've got to get used to it. It seems like an awful lot upfront, as I say, but these are things that you can review over and over again if you have a little grammar book handy.

Also, because they have plural, so nous, we don't hear the s. Nous sommes, we are, [insert French]. If we're all male, we put an s at the end and we don't even hear it. But if it's the girls, elles, plural, [insert French]. It still sounds the same, but they've added an s at the end. However, sometimes the letters at the end that you can't hear you do hear if they are added on if there's a vowel starting the next word. The big thing in French pronunciation is carrying on the sound to the next word if it starts with a vowel. For example, I said [insert French].

Again, I'm just giving you an outline of some of the joys of French that you can look forward to. Remember, everything that seems strange and overwhelming at first, and I've experienced it in learning Chinese, Russian, you name it, you eventually get used to if you give yourself enough time with the language.

Verbs

Very soon you'll discover that whereas in English we say I go, you go, he goes, only the ‘he goes' changes, in French every one of them changes. [Insert French]. You've just got to get used to it. It's very difficult to remember these conjugations, you can spend all kinds of time pouring over conjugation tables, in my experience it's a very unsatisfying thing to do because you forget them. You might remember them for tomorrow's test and then you forget them, so you constantly have to refer to them and then you see them in context. It's very easy nowadays, if you're on the computer you just Google French conjugations or conjugate the verb [insert French] or whatever. The same is true, by the way, with pronouns, adjectives. Anything you want to look at, you just Google and it will be there.

Tenses

Of course there's a variety of tenses in French. I don't think their tenses are more difficult than our tenses are in English, but there are things there that you have to learn.

Conditional

There are things like the conditional, like ‘would'. ‘I will' is the future. I will go tomorrow. I would go if… So there's a condition there. I would go if… The French instead of saying [insert French], I will go, they'll say [insert French], I would go if… You have to learn the endings by regularly reviewing them in tables, seeing them in context and so forth.

Subjunctive

The subjunctive, which is a bit of a bugbear in romance languages, all that means is there are certain expressions like you have to go, I want you to go, although you went, etc. There are other examples where the verb has a different form. That's all I will say here because you can read the explanations. At first they won't make sense, but once you've seen them often enough the subjunctive will start to make sense and slowly you'll develop the habit of using the subjunctive form of the verb at the appropriate time.

Relative clause

We say the house which is on the hill. [Insert French], the house which we bought, that's how they form the relative clause. You've got to figure that out. There are some things they do differently. The French are not hungry or cold, they have hunger and they have cold. There are a few other things like that. Largely, it's a matter of getting used to it.

French, first of all, it is a lovely language. I hate to say this, but it's a bit of a prestigious language. There are countries, in Europe particularly and even now in Asia, where French is considered to be a prestigious language. It's not surprising because we have to remember that in the seventeenth and eighteenth century and a good part of the nineteenth century, France was one of the largest countries in terms of population in the world. France was quite a bit larger than Russia in terms of people (I don't remember the numbers) quite a bit larger than Britain and it was the dominant culture, dominant civilization.

There are so many goodies in French civilization in terms of writers, in terms of painters, in terms of simply visiting France, Paris or the south of France. There's a whole bunch of stuff there that you can access so much better if you speak French. Not to mention the fact that French is spoken in other countries like Canada.


Tips on Learning French (1)

Hi there, this is Steve here. Today, I'm going to talk to you about learning French . French was my first love when it comes to languages. 言語に関しては、フランス語が私の最初の愛でした。 There's an expression in French, in fact. You always go back to your first loves. あなたはいつもあなたの最初の愛に戻ります。 I love French, I love all the languages that I learn, but I have a special feeling of affection for French. 我爱法语,我喜欢我所学的所有语言,但是我对法语有一种特别的感情。 I studied French at school; I couldn't speak at the age of 16. I went to McGill University and had a professor who turned me on. Ich ging zur McGill University und hatte einen Professor, der mich anmachte. 私はマギル大学に行き、私をオンにした教授がいました。 He turned me on to French civilization. 彼は私をフランス文明に向かわせた。 To learn a language you've got to really love the language, be committed to the language and want to be part of that community of people who speak that language. 要学习一种语言,您必须真正热爱该语言,致力于该语言,并希望成为该语言社区的一员。 That's what happened to me. それが私に起こったことです。 I got very keen and I ended up going to France for three years where I studied Political Science at [insert French] in Paris.

French is a precise language, it's the language of logic. フランス語は正確な言語であり、論理の言語です。 This was the world at [insert French]. All of our presentations had to be presented from [insert French], part one here [insert French] and this and that. On the one hand this, on the other hand that. 一方面,另一方面。 Everything had to be presented in a very balanced way, the sort of Cartesian [insert French] formula, which I still use in making presentations. It was a good training not only for my French, but in all languages. Learning to be more, I would say, precise and logical in the way you present your ideas not just running them on, although here I'm making a presentation where I'm just running them on. Ich würde sagen, dass Sie lernen, präziser und logischer zu sein, wenn Sie Ihre Ideen präsentieren und nicht nur weiterführen, obwohl ich hier eine Präsentation mache, in der ich sie nur weiterführe. より多くのことを学ぶことは、あなたがアイデアを実行するだけでなく、あなたのアイデアを提示する方法で正確かつ論理的であると言えますが、ここでは私が実行しているだけのプレゼンテーションを行っています。

So French was the language of logic and I highly recommend French, but French has some difficulties. ですから、フランス語は論理の言語であり、私はフランス語を強くお勧めしますが、フランス語にはいくつかの困難があります。 French is difficult to understand. First of all, it's fairly monotonous. People speak in monotones, it's not English or Swedish or tonal languages, it tends to roll along in a fairly monotonous range of tones. 人々は単調に話します、それは英語やスウェーデン語や声調言語ではありません、それはかなり単調な範囲の声調で転がる傾向があります。 人们说的是单调的,不是英语,瑞典语或音调的语言,它倾向于以相当单调的音调滚动。 Also, there are the nasal sounds and then the way the sound is carried on to the next word. また、鼻音があり、次の単語に音が伝わる方法があります。 另外,还有鼻音,然后是声音传到下一个单词的方式。 These are things you have to get used to.

One thing I recommend insofar as pronunciation is concerned is to get used to making the sort of ‘ur' sound. Eine Sache, die ich in Bezug auf die Aussprache empfehle, ist, sich daran zu gewöhnen, die Art von 'ur'-Sound zu erzeugen. 発音に関して私がお勧めすることの1つは、ある種の「ur」の音を出すことに慣れることです。 [Insert French] There's lots of ‘ur' and ‘aw' and you kind of have to pick up on that and have it flow through your pronunciation, but it's also a bit of an obstacle when you're listening. [フランス語を挿入]「ur」と「aw」がたくさんあるので、それを拾って発音に流し込む必要がありますが、聞いているときは少し障害にもなります。 They also slur words together, as we do in all languages. また、すべての言語で行うように、単語を一緒にスラーリングします。 Instead of saying [insert French] they say [insert French] and so forth. You should get used to the whole flavor of French. あなたはフランス語の味全体に慣れるべきです。 You should become a little more argumentative, but in a nice way. あなたはもう少し議論になるべきですが、いい意味で。 [Insert French] All this kind of stuff is part of the fun of being French or pretending your French and really getting into the language. [フランス語を挿入]この種のことはすべて、フランス語であること、またはフランス語のふりをして実際にその言語に入る楽しみの一部です。

Now, I'm getting a little ahead of myself here. حالا ، من اینجا کمی جلوتر از خودم هستم. 今、私はここで自分より少し進んでいます。 Nu loop ik hier een beetje op de zaken vooruit. As you know, I recommend that in order to learn a language you have to first expose yourself to the language with a lot of listening and reading. Particularly in French if you come up with a few phrases you can say “je m'appelle Steve”, my name is Steve. 特にフランス語で「jem'appelleSteve」と言うことができるフレーズをいくつか思いついたら、私の名前はスティーブです。 If you don't understand what they're saying you're lost, so build up your comprehension, build up your vocabulary. 彼らが何を言っているのかわからない場合は、あなたが失われているので、理解を深め、語彙を増やしてください。 It's relatively easy to do in French because 60% or more of the words in English come from Norman French, so you'll find a lot of words that you will recognize. Even though they are obviously pronounced differently and may mean different things in French, this makes learning the vocabulary a lot easier than Russian. フランス語では明らかに発音が異なり、意味も異なる場合がありますが、これによりロシア語よりも語彙の学習がはるかに簡単になります。 There's no point in trying to learn what they call cognates, those words that are similar, upfront. 彼らが同族語と呼んでいるもの、類似している単語を前もって学ぼうとしても意味がありません。 试图学习他们所谓的认知是没有意义的。 You won't remember them. あなたはそれらを覚えていないでしょう。 You'll come across them in your listening and reading, but you'll just find that it's easier to retain the vocabulary. リスニングやリーディングでそれらに出くわしますが、語彙を保持する方が簡単であることがわかります。 您在听和读时会遇到它们,但是您会发现保留词汇更加容易。

Now, grammar, obviously the big bugbear in French is the tenses. Nu, grammatica, het is duidelijk dat de grote bugbear in het Frans de tijden zijn. I feel with grammar you've got to try to simplify. 私はあなたが単純化しようとしなければならない文法で感じます。 I have a series of grammar books at home I bought, just f or the fun of it, published by Dover. 私は自宅で一連の文法書を購入しましたが、それはドーバーから出版されたものです。 (You can Google and find them on the internet.) (グーグルでインターネット上で見つけることができます。) None of them is longer than 100 pages; they're very short descriptions of the grammar. それらのどれも100ページより長くありません。それらは文法の非常に短い説明です。 That's the kind of book you need to have so that you can refer to the grammar from time to time because in most grammars there aren't that many issues. ほとんどの文法ではそれほど多くの問題がないので、時々文法を参照できるように、それはあなたが持っている必要がある種類の本です。 In fact, I think there's probably 10 or so. 実際、おそらく10かそこらあると思います。

When I went to learn Romanian, I made up 200 sentences in 20 different categories. ルーマニア語を学びに行ったとき、私は20の異なるカテゴリーで200の文を作りました。 I had someone translate them and record them and I listened to these patterns of all the different key issues over and over again to get used to how they say things because the issue is how do they say things in that language, rather than complicated grammar explanations or terms we can't deal with, although there are some terms that are useful. 私は誰かにそれらを翻訳して記録してもらい、問題は複雑な文法ではなく、その言語で物事をどのように言うかであるため、彼らが物事を言う方法に慣れるために、さまざまな重要な問題すべてのこれらのパターンを何度も聞いた役に立つ用語がいくつかありますが、私たちが扱うことができない説明や用語。 The fundamental 10 issues in any language are the following, in my view: Die 10 grundlegenden Probleme in jeder Sprache sind meiner Ansicht nach die folgenden: 私の見解では、どの言語でも基本的な10の問題は次のとおりです。

The issue of how they make statements, positive statements, negative statements and questions. 彼らがどのように発言、肯定的な発言、否定的な発言、質問をするかという問題。

So in French it's [insert French] content. Again, I cognate, happy, [insert French]. I'm happy. [Insert French], I'm not happy. So double [insert French] sandwich the verb. You come across that very early and it seems strange at first, but very, very quickly you get used to it. A question [insert French]? [Insert French] asks the question or you can say [insert French]. So there are two ways of saying are you happy or anything else for that matter.

That's point number one, how do you make these positive or negative statements or how do you ask a question. それが一番のポイントです。これらの肯定的または否定的な発言をどのように行うか、またはどのように質問するかです。 Not necessarily in any order because verbs are kind of key, but you have to get used to what in English we call the ‘w' words: where, when, why, who, how come, which. Most of those in French start with a q: [insert French], etc. So you get used to those.

Y ou can save them if you're in LingQ, which I very much recommend you do, and if you save them in LingQ of course you get lots of examples. The examples come in two sections in LingQ, either from our library or from lesson you have already studied. The advantage of looking at examples from lessons you have already studied is that you probably know the words. Very often , if you're reading in a grammar book you look at examples, but you don't know the words. That's not so very helpful, so the ‘w' words.

Pronouns I think is another thing again. None of these things are you going to master up front, you just get exposed to them and you start seeing how they perform. So the sort of this, that, these and those words, you need to get used to those. The pronouns [insert French] and how they deal with yours, mine, my, to me. These are the kinds of things revolving around pronouns that you have to get used to.

Gender and number 性别和人数

There are languages, like Japanese, that have no gender, no number, but in French they have both and things like pronouns and adjectives have to agree, even verbs have to agree. What do I mean by agree? 同意するとはどういう意味ですか? [Insert French], I'm a male, so [insert French]. If it was [insert French], she, [insert French], we put an e at the end. Notice how the pronunciation changes. [Insert French], you don't hear the t. That's another thing, by the way, that makes French difficult to understand and difficult to read because a lot of letters are not pronounced. [Insert French], by the way, s-u-i-s, the second s isn't pronounced. [Insert French], the last t isn't pronounced. If it's elle, the second l and the second e are kind of useless. But elle est all you hear is ‘e', the s and t aren't pronounced. [Insert French] because there's an e at the end we hear the t, otherwise we don't. You've got to get used to it. あなたはそれに慣れる必要があります。 It seems like an awful lot upfront, as I say, but these are things that you can review over and over again if you have a little grammar book handy.

Also, because they have plural, so nous, we don't hear the s. Nous sommes, we are, [insert French]. If we're all male, we put an s at the end and we don't even hear it. But if it's the girls, elles, plural, [insert French]. It still sounds the same, but they've added an s at the end. However, sometimes the letters at the end that you can't hear you do hear if they are added on if there's a vowel starting the next word. The big thing in French pronunciation is carrying on the sound to the next word if it starts with a vowel. フランス語の発音で重要なのは、母音で始まる場合、次の単語に音を引き継ぐことです。 For example, I said [insert French].

Again, I'm just giving you an outline of some of the joys of French that you can look forward to. Remember, everything that seems strange and overwhelming at first, and I've experienced it in learning Chinese, Russian, you name it, you eventually get used to if you give yourself enough time with the language.

Verbs

Very soon you'll discover that whereas in English we say I go, you go, he goes, only the ‘he goes' changes, in French every one of them changes. [Insert French]. You've just got to get used to it. It's very difficult to remember these conjugations, you can spend all kinds of time pouring over conjugation tables, in my experience it's a very unsatisfying thing to do because you forget them. You might remember them for tomorrow's test and then you forget them, so you constantly have to refer to them and then you see them in context. It's very easy nowadays, if you're on the computer you just Google French conjugations or conjugate the verb [insert French] or whatever. The same is true, by the way, with pronouns, adjectives. Anything you want to look at, you just Google and it will be there.

Tenses

Of course there's a variety of tenses in French. I don't think their tenses are more difficult than our tenses are in English, but there are things there that you have to learn.

Conditional

There are things like the conditional, like ‘would'. ‘I will' is the future. I will go tomorrow. I would go if… So there's a condition there. I would go if… The French instead of saying [insert French], I will go, they'll say [insert French], I would go if… You have to learn the endings by regularly reviewing them in tables, seeing them in context and so forth.

Subjunctive

The subjunctive, which is a bit of a bugbear in romance languages, all that means is there are certain expressions like you have to go, I want you to go, although you went, etc. 接続法は、ロマンス諸語では少しバグベアですが、つまり、行かなければならない、行ってほしい、行ってほしいなどの特定の表現があるということです。 There are other examples where the verb has a different form. That's all I will say here because you can read the explanations. At first they won't make sense, but once you've seen them often enough the subjunctive will start to make sense and slowly you'll develop the habit of using the subjunctive form of the verb at the appropriate time.

Relative clause Relativsatz 関係詞節

We say the house which is on the hill. [Insert French], the house which we bought, that's how they form the relative clause. You've got to figure that out. あなたはそれを理解する必要があります。 There are some things they do differently. The French are not hungry or cold, they have hunger and they have cold. フランス人は空腹でも寒さでもありません、彼らは空腹であり、彼らは寒いです。 There are a few other things like that. Largely, it's a matter of getting used to it.

French, first of all, it is a lovely language. I hate to say this, but it's a bit of a prestigious language. 私はこれを言うのは嫌ですが、それは少し一流の言語です。 我讨厌这样说,但这是一种享有盛誉的语言。 There are countries, in Europe particularly and even now in Asia, where French is considered to be a prestigious language. 在某些国家,尤其是欧洲,甚至现在在亚洲,法语被认为是一种享有盛誉的语言。 It's not surprising because we have to remember that in the seventeenth and eighteenth century and a good part of the nineteenth century, France was one of the largest countries in terms of population in the world. France was quite a bit larger than Russia in terms of people (I don't remember the numbers) quite a bit larger than Britain and it was the dominant culture, dominant civilization.

There are so many goodies in French civilization in terms of writers, in terms of painters, in terms of simply visiting France, Paris or the south of France. There's a whole bunch of stuff there that you can access so much better if you speak French. そこにはたくさんのものがあり、フランス語を話せばもっとうまくアクセスできます。 Not to mention the fact that French is spoken in other countries like Canada.