If you want to say “why” in French, you would say “pourquoi”. While that literally translates to “for what,” it’s the universal expression for “why”. Want to say “because”? Then you’d generally use the phrase “parce que…”, although there are nuanced variants of that—including “car” and “à cause de”.
How you approach learning the French language depends on your objectives. Many language learners are just beginning their French journey by picking up common words and phrases and attempting to replicate the infamous French accent—mastering au revoir, baguette, amour, etc. Other language learners may be coming back to French after considerable exposure to the language in their academic careers. Whatever your goals are for learning the language, you should carefully consider a language learning program built with your goals in mind.
Rosetta Stone has many years of experience in designing language learning programs that build confidence in speaking and understanding written and spoken French. Whether you’re a true beginner or looking to brush up on basics or advance your fluency, Rosetta Stone can help you. With a fully immersive approach that focuses on contextualizing learning, Rosetta Stone uses an award-winning mobile app (smartphone and tablet) and language learning software to deliver bite-sized lessons that help you learn French virtually anytime and anywhere.
When you begin to learn French, you may be tempted to memorize massive vocabulary lists. But that’s not a very effective (or fun) way to learn the language. Instead of focusing on cramming as many French words and phrases as you can, learn just a few of the most commonly used terms and dial into perfecting your French pronunciation instead. After all, the goal of language learning is not building a huge vocabulary. It’s having the confidence to have and understand conversations with native French speakers. And that usually means first getting a grip on hundreds of words, not thousands you’ll rarely use.
There are some commonly used French words and phrases that make up the bulk of the language, and learning these will give you an excellent foundation. And it’s not just the greetings like bonjour, merci, or s’il vous plaît that you might need in everyday situations. It’s also good to learn the words that the French sprinkle throughout their sentences, like quoi, où, qui, quand, tellement, rien, and comment.
To build your confidence in speaking French, you should start your French lessons with the basics of common words and pronunciations. Then you can scale naturally towards a much more complex understanding of the French language. That’s why Rosetta Stone’s French language program has an immersive approach that introduces words alongside both visual and audio cues that help you learn in the context of true-to-life conversations. The 10-minute lessons are grouped into units that highlight common French conversational phrases you will need for everyday interactions, coupled with practical review that helps learners bolster their French language skills.
One of the things the French language is most famous for is its je ne sais quoi—an indefinable quality that makes the accent sound alluring. However, what may seem like an elusive part of the language’s appeal are the nuances of French pronunciation. Some of the common sounds in French can be tricky because they are decidedly more nasal or subtle than other languages—especially compared to English—but practice makes perfect. That’s why it’s important to learn French pronunciation first, starting with the sounds in the alphabet.
While the French alphabet has the same 26 letters as the English alphabet, some of the sounds are pronounced a bit differently. For instance, one of the most familiar sounds in French, the letter “e,” is pronounced ‘euh’ and can be found in almost every corner of French conversations, because it’s used in the same way English speakers use the sound “uh” as a pause or connection to another thought. However, unlike English, French provides extremely helpful accent marks to guide your pronunciation. There are five different French accent marks: 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 usually indicate that the sound of the letter is slightly irregular, although the circonflexe is only used in French writing and doesn’t alter the pronunciation of the word.
Mastering your pronunciation is the key to having conversations with total confidence. Rosetta Stone encourages new French language learners to begin practicing making French sounds out loud from the very 1st lesson, with a patented speech-recognition engine called TruAccent. Embedded in every lesson, TruAccent compares your pronunciation to that of native and non-native French speakers and provides real-time feedback. This helps you hone in on understanding, and also being understood, in French.
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.