French has a reputation as the language of love, but there are many other reasons to fall in love with French. It’s the sixth most widely spoken language in the world and the only other language besides English spoken on all five continents. With over 220 million speakers, French is regarded as a language that is useful not only for cuisine, fashion, and travel but also in a competitive, international job market where France has the fifth largest economy.
When you begin to learn French, it may be tempting to wade into memorizing massive vocabulary lists but this isn’t a very effective (or fun) way to learn French. Instead of focusing on cramming as many French words as you can, learn just a few of the most commonly used words or phrases and dial into perfecting your French pronunciation instead. After all, the goal of language learning is not vocabulary acquisition. It’s having the confidence to have and understand conversations with native French speakers.
There are some commonly used French words and conversational phrases that make up the backbone of the language and learning these will give you a solid foundation. And it’s not just the greetings like Bonjour or s’il vous plaît that you might need in everyday situations. It’s also good to learn the words that the French sprinkle throughout their sentences, like quoi, où, qui, quand, pourquoi, and comment. These words are similar to the English version of what, where, who, when, why and how and they’ll frequently appear in conversations.
To build towards fluency in French, you should begin your French lessons with the basics of common words and pronunciations and then scale naturally towards a more complex understanding of the language. That’s why Rosetta Stone’s French language learning program has an immersive approach that introduces words alongside visual and audio cues that help you learn vocabulary in the context of real-world conversations. The bite-sized lessons are grouped into units that highlight common French conversational phrases you’ll need for everyday situations, coupled with practical review that helps learners solidify their language skills.