If you want to say “Do you speak English?” in French, you have two options. The first is the formal/polite version, “*Parlez-vous anglais ?” The other is the more relaxed informal phrasing, “Parles-tu anglais ?*” Generally, you should use the informal version when speaking to children, friends, family, or those you meet in a casual social setting. The formal version is best for business, in stores, when addressing someone older, or when you’re unsure of which form is most appropriate.
How you approach learning French depends on your ultimate objectives. Some early learners are just beginning their journey by picking up everyday phrases and trying to replicate the infamous French accent—perfecting merci, oui, macaron, beaucoup, and_ je voudrais_. Other learners may be coming back to French after extensive exposure to the language in their academic life. Whatever your goals are for learning French, you should definitely consider a language-learning program built with you in mind.
Rosetta Stone has experience in designing language learning programs that build confidence in speaking and understanding French. Whether you’re looking to brush up on basics or advance your fluency, Rosetta Stone can help. With an immersive approach that focuses on contextualizing learning, Rosetta Stone uses an award-winning mobile app to deliver bite-sized lessons that help you learn French anytime and anywhere.
As a new French language learner, you may be led down the path of memorizing long lists of French words. However, this memorization approach is not an effective way to learn to speak and converse in French. Rather, your best bet is to concentrate on first learning just a few of the most commonly used French words or phrases, followed by learning key elements of French pronunciation. Focusing on learning and pronouncing the most common words and phrases is the best way for you to build the skills and confidence you need to hold conversations in French.
There are several commonly used words and conversational phrases that make up the backbone of the French language. Learning these building blocks of the French language will give you a solid foundation. Beyond greetings like “Bonjour” or “s’il vous plaît” that you will need, it’s also advisable to learn the words that French speakers so often sprinkle throughout their sentences such as quoi, où, qui, quand, pourquoi, and comment. These words are similar in meaning and use to the English words what, where, who, when, why and how. Like their English counterparts, these French words appear very frequently in everyday conversation.
In order to build fluency in speaking French, you’ll want to begin by learning the basics and then move naturally into a more nuanced understanding of the language. That’s why Rosetta Stone’s French language learning program is based on an immersive approach. Rosetta Stone lessons introduce words along with visual and audio cues designed to help you learn in the context of real-life, everyday conversations. Rosetta Stone’s bite-sized, digestible lessons are grouped into logical learning units. These lessons feature common French words, phrases and even conversations that you’ll need for real-life situations. And each unit is coupled with a useful and practical review that helps new French learners strengthen and solidify their language skills.
One of the defining characteristics of the French language is its je ne sais quoi — the indefinable quality that makes the French accent sound so very appealing and mysterious. However, what may at first may sound like an elusive aspect of the French language’s appeal is actually just the nuance of French pronunciation. Some French pronunciations can be tricky because they are definitively more nasal sounding than pronunciations in other languages. That’s why it’s critical to master French pronunciation first. And then practice can indeed make perfect.
Although the French alphabet shares all the same letters with the English alphabet, it’s important to know that some of the sounds in French are pronounced differently. As an example, one of the most familiar sounds in French is the letter “e.” In French, the letter “e” is pronounced ‘euh’ and you’ll hear it in virtually every French conversation. That’s because in French, “e” is used in the same way English speakers use the sound “uh” to indicate a pause or as a link to the next thought. Thankfully, and unlike English, French helpfully provides accent marks above letters to help guide your pronunciation. There are five different French accent marks to know. These are: the cédille (Ç), the aigu (é), the circonflexe (â, ê, î, ô, û), the grave (à, è, ù), and the tréma (ë, ï, ü). These French accent marks most often mean that the sound of the letter is irregular. That said, the circonflexe is used solely in French writing and isn’t meant to alter the pronunciation of the letter over which it appears.
In order to perfect your French pronunciation, you will need immediate and accurate feedback. This feedback will allow you to make specific corrections in your French pronunciation. Once your pronunciation is perfect, you’ll need to practice so your mouth can get accustomed to shaping the sounds that comprise the spoken French language. Rosetta Stone integrates our proven and patented speech-recognition engine—known as TruAccent—into every language lesson. TruAccent provides precise and instant feedback to help you align your accent with that of native French speakers. TruAccent was built by carefully scanning and integrating the speech of French speakers, and can be a huge help in your efforts to understand and be understood in the French language.
After beginning learners have acquired the basics that are the building blocks of speaking French, it will be a natural transition to learn the longer phrases that form the backbone of everyday French conversations. Rosetta Stone’s bite-sized, 10-minute lessons are built to lead you along this learning path, toward the ability to speak French with confidence.
Surround yourself with French whenever, wherever with the Rosetta Stone app .
Download a unit and knock it out on the train or a flight. Select a 5-10 minute lesson and sneak it in while you wait in line or for your ride to show up. And explore dynamic features, like Seek and Speak, where you can point at an object in the real world and get a translation .
The best part? You don’t have to choose between app or desktop. Both come with your subscription and sync, so you can switch between devices seamlessly.
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