I’ve been going to a French class once a week at the local community college since September. I’m very determined to learn the language, but it’s a very difficult language to learn. Sometimes I feel like I haven’t learned a thing, but I must have learnt something, right.
I decided to make a list of things I’ve learned to make myself feel better and to see what I’ve actually learned.
I’ve learnt the importance of accents. Most French words seem to have at least one accent on one of the letters. The accents go back and fort (´ `), or they’re triangular (^), or just dots above the letter (¨). The accents are important, because a word can mean different things if it has an accent or not. The accents can also determine how you pronounce the words.
So I know accents are important in French language. I don’t necessarily know where to put them every time, but I sure know they’re important.
#6: My name is…
I know how to introduce myself! And I also know how to ask for your name.
– Je m’appele Inkeri. (My name is Inkeri.)
– Comment tu t’appeles? (What’s your name?)
This was probably the easiest thing to learn!
#5: How do you do?
Asking whether someone how they’re doing isn’t this easy in any other language.
-Ca va? (How are you doing?)
And the response couldn’t be simpler!
-Ca va! (I’m doing OK!)
If you’re doing better than OK you can always add words to it.
-Ca va bien! (I’m doing good!)
-Ca va très bien! (I’m doing really good!)
#4: Fruits and vegetables
I would definitely do OK shopping for fruits and vegetables in France. I would get pommes, poires, oignons, bananes, tomates and so on.
Funny thing about French word for fruits is that it’s spelled exactly the same in English as it is in French, but it’s pronounced in a totally different way. So fruits and fruit in French are fruits and fruit. There are other words like this too, like train; it’s spelled the same, and it means exactly the same thing, but pronounced in another way.
#3: A bunch of verbs
When learning a language it’s obviously inevitable to learn a bunch of verbs. I probably know more French verbs than I can remember from the top of my head, but luckily I’ve managed to memorize a bunch.
My favorite ones so far are, (not necessarily for the meaning, but their easy to pronounce)
Travailler (To work)
Étudier (To study)
Habiter (To live)
Aller (To go)
Avoir (To own something)
Être (To be)
The basic forms are pretty easy, but once you actually use them the whole word could change. To be (ètre) for example changes to suis when you want to say I am (Je suis). It doesn’t even have the same letters with the actual basic form. Sometimes I wonder who the heck would invent a language that has no logic whatsoever.
I was really bored last Monday and decided to learn the weekdays in French by heart. I know them so well now and I’m pretty proud of myself.
I could count to five before I started this course, but everything beyond that was new to me. I now know the numbers through 0 to 69. They’re pretty simple and easy enough to learn and remember. We have not yet gone to numbers 70 and forward, but I’ve taken a look at them and they’re getting pretty crazy!
75 would translate from French to English as sixty-fifteen. So no, the language doesn’t have an own word for seventy, but instead we add 60 with 10 (sixty-ten, soixante-dix) and we get 70.
But wait! It gets even crazier! 80 would translate as forty-twenties and 90 would be forty-twenties-ten. This language is totally incomprehensible sometimes.
Have you learned anything new lately? Do you speak French? Do you think French is a difficult language to learn?