Votre guide de survie à la langue française, ou 9 astuces pour mieux vivre votre expatriation à Paris (en anglais)

L’article de L’Ecole Parisienne de Langues paru sur le blog Expats Paris.

Your French Language Survival Guide: 9 Tips On How To make It In A Parisian French-Speaking Sphere.

Have you decided to move to France and to quickly realize that your expatriation adventure was not going to be easy without a good level of French?

French people are not really talented in foreign languages, and it is no more possible for you to communicate only with your hands and mimics.

Since all the tech miracles (translating headphones) don’t really work that well yet, you still have to learn French… No Artificial Intelligence would be able to fully translate the poetry or the exact emotions that only humans can have so far. The bot, with all the machine learning of this planet, can beat a chess champion, but cannot have all the cultural references and feelings that define human beings.

And even if the technology is changing our lives very fast, it is still impossible to keep your headphones all the time on your ears: it is not good for your health, not comfortable in every situation and it makes you rely on batteries…

Eventually, language is not only about speaking: mimics, gestures, tone and nuances… Without those, our communication would be a poor imitation of what it really is.

Here’s a Good news!

Learning French is actually a great investment.

According to The Economist “… if I was asked what foreign language is the most useful, without being given any other options (where? for what purpose?), my answer would be French. Whatever you think of France, the language is much less limited than many people realise.

There are 274 millions of French speakers all over the world, and these numbers are still growing. 125 million people are currently learning French: it is the second most learnt language after English.

Now that you are convinced about learning French, here are 9 tips that will easily help you go through your adventure with this language:

1. There is no miracle method… 

I know, you won’t like what I am about to tell you right now… Speaking a foreign language is a lot of hard work and practicing. You can have a lot of fun while learning, but you still have to stick to it if you really aim at having tangible results.

2. Always have a notebook with you. 

Write down new words and expressions and try to translate them with other French words that you already know instead of doing the translation through your native language. That will get you used to “thinking” in French and this will get you closer to to success in your French Language Survival Mission.

3. Write at least 10 sentences in French each day…

about what you have done the last 24 hours, what you have seen, the person you have talked to or what you will be doing the next day.

4. Read in French, listen to the French radio & Podcasts, watch the French TV…

That is what we call immersion. It will help your eyes and ears get used to new words and sounds. You will quickly notice that you understand almost everything you read/hear.

5. Take a live teacher, not a virtual one. 

Apps, videos on social networks and e-learning platforms can be a great help if well used. You can exercise there, but nothing will replace a real human interaction, with its spontaneity. Well, if you really want to speak French, you have to practice. A lot!

6. Ask your teacher about his/her diploma in didactics of French.

Mastering a language doesn’t mean you know how to teach it!

7. Try a teacher that doesn’t speak your language (or one that doesn’t use it during your lessons) 

An immersive learning experience is more efficient than the old school lessons including translation into your native language.

8. Chose custom lessons instead of the general ones.

The price might seem higher, but it is justified by the gain of time and efficiency. You will focus on your own goals and get there faster!

9. Interact with natives.

Some French classes force you to talk to French people you meet in restaurants, cafés, parks… It can be difficult at the beginning to talk to strangers, but it helps you break all your linguistic fences and it enhances your confidence in French!

So, let me conclude this article by suggesting that if you are looking for a nice French language school without classes, books, but with true interactions, don’t hesitate to contact L’Ecole Parisienne de Langues.

We will be happy to help you enhance your French quickly while doing the things you love.

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