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Is French easy to learn ?


Jean-Kevin

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If you look at the comments there is a guy who posted :

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Donc non, tu as tord, y'a des gens comme moi qui sont français et qui se perde sur ta vidéo 😂

Normaly it is : Donc non tu as tort, y'a des gens comme moi qui sont français et qui se perdent sur ta vidéo ( So no, some people like me are French and they get lost on your video).

Already we can point out that spelling is difficult in French.

___________

Otherwise I don't find English easy and I found it interesting to watch people doing French learning but explaining in English to know what an English speaker has problems with and at the same time it helps me understand how the English language works.

 

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Posted (edited)

 

Ok so in this video I see the problem but there are simple solutions :

1) French pronunciation is esay. In this video  she tried to pronounce the word "chirurgie" (surgery) but she doesn't really know how to pronounce it and she uses the wrong method. First you have to google traduction - Recherche Google and after you click on the robotic voice and then it's easy because as the pronunciation is easy in French a robot can do it quite easily.

2) Don't hesitate and speak in doubt, go straight to the point with confidence and never mind if you are wrong. At worst, it's enough to first do a sentence in slow motion and then to do the same sentence again in fast motion, it's just a technical adjustment in fact.

3) Conjugation: it's much easier than in English if it's past tense you have to use passé composé (in most cases) and then it is present for present and Futur simple for "will" and "going to" (in most cases) 

 
Edited by Jean-Kevin
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Posted (edited)

 

He gives reasons why he finds French is hard :

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1) The spelling

Of course he's right just you go in French-speaker forum and you observe there are many spelling mistakes. People who make few spelling mistakes are often people who read books but nowadays we don't really read books anymore and worse we read badly written stuff, which encourages us to write badly.  There is also les dictées de Bernard Pivot (Bernard Pivot's dictations ) which show that French spelling is difficult.

Then he gives a similar reason to many other languages. How are you pronounce "enough", "would", "which", "gonna", "who" ? You see even if I take simple words, if I don't know the pronunciation first, I can only do wrong. Another argument given is that there are words that sound alike but this is even worse with English and in the end it's a matter of habit, you need to have heard many times to speak in the language.

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2) Pronunciation 

No I don't think.

He gives a reason  related to the lack of knowledge and of course if you don't know how you pronounce route (rood) or rue (street) it is difficult. 

Then he gives a reason with the liaison (connection of words) but the problem is if an English speaker doesn't make "la liaison" a French speaker understands and it's not a big mistake or somthing realy problematic. Being bilingual is very hard whatever the language and there's no point in trying to be bilingual because perfectionism doesn't really help in speaking a language.

Then I think he makes a mistake, there isn't pronounce "h" just there are words you do liaison like les hommes (the men) and other you don't like les haricots (the beans). And when he pronounces "h" to les haches (the axes) he makes a mistake but he's right in the fact that we mustn't make the liaison.

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3) speak quickly 

Same for all languages.

Edited by Jean-Kevin
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French is easier to learn if you have Latin background in languages. Be it Italian or Spanish, the way we phrase ourselves is so similar we could almost comprehend each other. I, for my part, learned English at 19, when I went to college. I had some basis and could understand most of what's been told to me, but I was far from being fluent. Still, I make lots of mistakes here and there, and I wouldn't say I'm totally bilingual, but I manage to speak and write in English because I get invested a lot in English/American culture, be it music, movies, books, etc. If you think French is hard, it is, but understand there are ways for you to make the learning easier and pleasant. Enjoy movies in French, try to sing French songs, get engaged in trying to find something in the French world you would like. Don't just read dictionaries or go on Duo Lingo, it doesn't work.

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  • 2 months later...
Posted (edited)

(FYI I think French or many languages are more difficult than English because English is a useful language to learn even if you don't live in an English-speaking country whereas French and other languages may have no or very little use)

1) You- formel or informel 

His first argument is irrelevant because if the person isn't a French-speaker, no French-speakers care about that. The important thing to do is to say "tu" (you singular) when it concerns one person and to say "vous" (you plural) when it concerns more than one person (two, three, four etc. persons). Language is a communication tool and the important thing is to be able to make yourself understood and when it is not your mother language, you must avoid that the person who listens to you is in the confusion, the doubt to know if he understands what you want to say. 

2) "on" (that means we in majority of cases) 

This is not really a difficulty. When French-speaker says on you translate by we and then in some cases you guess that when he says on/we he means "I". It is not because there are exceptions, special cases, etc. that one should drown in them.

When I watch a movie in English, they talk fast, the few times I was able to chat with an English-speaker he also talks fast. The French-speaker is same, he doesn't talk at a snail's pace. It means you don't have time to ask yourself if when he says "on" it is we, I, it, you, they or drown yourself in technical stuff.

3) Pronunciation

I find it is not a difficulty, it is a question of knowledge and you have google translate who gives the pronunciation. English is really much more difficult, already how you pronounce simple words like "can", "later", "bottle" ?  American or English prononciation ? It's a big joke the pronunciation in the French language compared to the English language

4) Accents  

I'd misunderstood... but there is no point in talking about writing and how a word is pronounced in writing because a language is first of all oral communication.  If you are good at writing and bad at speaking, you are always at the beginner level of the language, while the opposite is no longer at the beginner level.

 

 

 

Edited by Jean-Kevin
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8 hours ago, Jean-Kevin said:

I think French or many languages are more difficult than English because English is a useful language to learn

English is possibly the easiest language there is by its grammar. That's why it's easy. Its grammar is extremely simple. French grammar is complicated.

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English is possibly the easiest language there is by its grammar. That's why it's easy. Its grammar is extremely simple. French grammar is complicated.

English grammar is not so easy, for example I'm sure I make a lot of grammatical mistakes when I write (and I also use a translator so in some cases it can be the translator who makes the grammar mistake). Do I have to put as or like ? Do I have to put do or make ? Do I have to put an evidence or a piece of evidence ?

Then it is necessary to look if the French-speakers don't make the errors of grammar because if they themselves make full of it the relevance of the difficulty isn't any more the same one since in a case we speak about a grammar which would be simpler about English but the English-speakers don't make almost any error.

 

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No, not for English speakers. I used to pay the language schools and tutors for the federal government and I saw how much time and effort public servants often went through trying to learn French to a level which would satisfy language requirements.

I myself tried to learn French before I went to work for the feds. I paid out of my own pocket for French lessons at a community college, five days a week, 3hrs a day in class plus homework and practice. I got through the first two basic courses okay. I ran into trouble in the intermediate courses. Got the first one done okay, and the second, but that was it. My teacher sat me down and said that I just don't have the ear for it. 

The liaison is what kills me. The way French speakers join two words together so they sound like a different word entirely. I was at a point where I could understand every word I read, but not when it was spoken aloud by a French speaker.

Plus the strong impact of gender on words, and the multiple tenses are killers as they completely change the sound and spelling of the word.

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Posted (edited)

Ok so there is this video which is valid for all languages :

 

because if we try to go to a higher level than the intermediate level whether it is English, French or any other language it becomes difficult or very difficult.

The opinion French is difficult or another language is difficult doesn't make much sense at high levels. 

Edited by Jean-Kevin
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On 6/21/2021 at 9:01 PM, QuebecOverCanada said:

Still, I make lots of mistakes here and there, and I wouldn't say I'm totally bilingual, but I manage to speak and write in English because I get invested a lot in English/American culture, be it music, movies, books, etc.

Your English is perfect. 

 

On 6/21/2021 at 9:01 PM, QuebecOverCanada said:

If you think French is hard, it is, but understand there are ways for you to make the learning easier and pleasant. Enjoy movies in French, try to sing French songs, get engaged in trying to find something in the French world you would like. Don't just read dictionaries or go on Duo Lingo, it doesn't work.

Amen. 

 

 

On 8/25/2021 at 7:18 PM, Argus said:

No, not for English speakers.

-- not for French speakers either.

For some sad reason, Canada is filled with French Canadians who struggle to speak their own mother tongue.

 

On 8/25/2021 at 7:18 PM, Argus said:

I myself tried to learn French before I went to work for the feds.

Why did you want to learn French? 

 

On 8/25/2021 at 7:18 PM, Argus said:

My teacher sat me down and said that I just don't have the ear for it. 

The liaison is what kills me. The way French speakers join two words together so they sound like a different word entirely. I was at a point where I could understand every word I read, but not when it was spoken aloud by a French speaker.

For some strange reason, my 2nd son struggles with the liasons too but in the opposite manner:  he can not read them. 

He speaks the liasons and understands them perfectly but when reading out loud, they do not come out.  This makes no sense to me but truthfully, he does not have a natural ear for the language either.  On the other hand, his older brother speaks French better than I do. 

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23 minutes ago, Charles Anthony said:

Why did you want to learn French? 

I live in Ottawa. Not having French was a big problem in my job hunting. Plus, it just would have been very cool to be able to understand and communicate with people in another language. One which had been a mystery for so long.

23 minutes ago, Charles Anthony said:

For some strange reason, my 2nd son struggles with the liasons too but in the opposite manner:  he can not read them. 

He speaks the liasons and understands them perfectly but when reading out loud, they do not come out.  This makes no sense to me but truthfully, he does not have a natural ear for the language either.  On the other hand, his older brother speaks French better than I do. 

I tried to listen to the radio, as well as those French/English tapes on the long ride back and forth to college. I noticed that when the French news was on and they interviewed an Anglo I could often understand them because they didn't use the liaison much. They tended to speak more slowly and I could hear the separate words.

The irony is that taking French, and telling the manager interviewing me I was helped get me my first job with the federal government. And I never needed French in it or any job thereafter. Would have been nice to have, though.

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