If you’d like to say “I like you” in French, you have to be extremely careful. There is no direct way to say it. Literally, the expression would be “Je t’aime,” but this has come to mean “I love you.” And while you can modify that same phrase by adding a “… bien” or “… beaucoup,” each of those expressions has a highly nuanced meaning that depends on the context. To err on the side of caution, you might want to opt for “T’es sympa.” which translates to “You’re nice.”
Getting comfortable with general day-to-day expressions can help provide a great foundation for learning French. After all, they’re most of what you’re likely to use in travel or casual interactions with others. Adding in a deeper understanding of verbs, nouns, general grammar, and pronunciation is the natural next step.
Rosetta Stone’s Dynamic Immersion® methodology teaches you how to speak the language, not just memorize words. What makes it so effective is that we prepare you to use your new language in your everyday life. So it’s not just about the features, but what you’re able to do because of them. That way, you’ll be ready to handle any situation with ease and confidence.
Many times, new students may be tempted to wade into memorizing long lists of vocabulary words. But this is not an effective way to learn French. Instead, you should focus first on learning just a few of the most commonly used phrases and French pronunciation. After all, the goal of learning a new language is not vocabulary acquisition. Rather, to achieve a level of comfort and confidence needed to have conversations in French.
You will find that there are commonly used French words and conversational phrases that make up the backbone of the language. Learning these common words and phrases will give you a solid foundation. In addition to greetings like “Bonjour” or “S’il vous plaît” it’s also smart to learn the words that native French speakers sprinkle throughout their sentences, such as quoi, où, qui, quand, pourquoi, and comment. These common words are very similar to the English words who, what, where, when, why, and how—and they will pop up often in everyday conversations.
The French language is most notable for is its je ne sais quoi —which is an indefinable quality that makes the French accent sound somewhat mysterious. But what may seem to be an elusive aspect of the French language’s appeal is really just a nuance of pronunciation. French can be challenging to learn, because it is much more nasal sounding than other languages. Practice will help you become comfortable with this distinct difference. And that’s why it’s important to learn French pronunciation as you learn common words and phrases.
The French alphabet has the same letters as the English alphabet, but some of the letter sounds are pronounced quite differently in French. For example, one of the most familiar sounds in French is the pronunciation of the letter e. In French, e is pronounced “euh” and can be heard in many French conversations. That’s because it’s used in the same way English speakers use the sound “uh.” In French, e is used as a pause or as a connector to another thought.
The French language also includes helpful accent marks to guide your pronunciation. There are five different French accent marks to learn: 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 accent marks most often indicate that the pronunciation of the letter is irregular. That said, the circonflexe is used only in French writing and doesn’t affect the pronunciation of the words in which it appears.
Acquiring proper French pronunciation depends on getting immediate feedback so you can make corrections. Rosetta Stone helps you dial in your pronunciation with our patented TruAccent™ speech-recognition engine—which instantly compares your voice to native and non-native speakers, so you get real-time feedback for the most accurate pronunciation.
It can be a valuable tool in helping you learn to understand and speak in French.
After you are comfortable with the building blocks of French, you can move on to learning the longer phrases that make up the backbone of everyday conversations. Rosetta Stone’s brief and bite-sized, 10-minute lessons are built to help you do just that. The language lessons will guide you towards speaking French with comfort and 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.