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Thread: Language in France

  1. #1
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    Language in France

    What language do i need to learn before i go to France. Should i be fluent in the language or if i just learn few words i can live over there ?

  2. #2
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    It depends on how long do you intend to stay. Is it a short holiday for a few day to a couple of weeks or a longer stay (for a few months)? If it's for a few days, a few common words and short phrases would be enough, Berlitz has a good French phrasebook or travelers.

    If it's for a longer stay then I'd recommend you learn some basic French including proper pronunciation and grammar. It is essential that you learn to read French so that at least you can read out names of places when asking people for directions in a way that French people can understand.

    If you need more information, do let me know. I live in Bordeaux close to the city center and in spring and summer we get hordes of English-speaking tourists asking for directions in terrible French!

  3. #3
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    I agree with BrianWolfe....I personally feel that even for small trips it's good to learn enough to be reasonably conversational. It's a respect thing, in my opinion. Plus, it definitely can't hurt you to have that knowledge .
    BrianWolfe likes this.

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    It definitely won't hurt to learn some French. Pay attention to the pronunciation rules which are WAY different from English. I had an American friend who drew blank stares in Paris when she said she wanted to go to Reims. She pronounced it in an American way, as "raymes" instead of "rans" (with a nasal "AN" sound) as it is actually pronounced in France!

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    Re: Language in France

    I think learning some French is what you need to do. I agree with Brian also. I find French is a language that is spoke in so many countries so its a great language to learn anyway.

  6. #6
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    Re: Language in France

    If you have enough time to learn the basic French, it would be very helpful. For a visit, just a few phrases would be nice, your basic good morning, good evening, thank you, you're welcome etc. But if you plan to live here, look into an Alliance Francaise in your area, as they offer language classes. I feel taking language classes would enable you to learn proper usage, and proper pronunciation which is very important, because the French spell the words very differently than how they are pronounced. There are also a lot of exceptions to their rules in language, and that makes it very tricky sometimes.

  7. #7
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    Re: Language in France

    I visited France last August, and did about three months of studying beforehand with an online French course (mango languages). I felt pretty prepared when I got there, but found that the language spoken at full-speed was really difficult to decipher. I had not trouble with simple things like ordering meals, drinks, and asking for directions, but when I would make a more complicated inquiry I often wouldn't be able to understand the responses. Another thing I found useful was making sure you have the pronunciation correct, especially when traveling and buying tickets. For example, I wanted to get a train ticket from Paris to Rennes, and kept saying it "re-nay"; however, the actual way to pronounce it is "ron". What I found worked well here was having it written down and pointing to the word/location/etc; breaks right through the language barrier and, although simplistic seeming, can save you a lot of time and trouble.

    One last point: English is spoken in Paris and other large cities by many people, but if you are traveling in rural areas, be prepared to speak basic French with folks, as English is much less common in smaller towns and villages.

  8. #8
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    Re: Language in France

    Quote Originally Posted by blueeyedprincess View Post
    What language do i need to learn before i go to France. Should i be fluent in the language or if i just learn few words i can live over there ?
    If you are planning to move there then I'd suggest learning some french fist. In theory you can get by with english, but in the long run you will definetely need to learn french There are many nice audio courses that could help you to get started, I'd use the ones offered by ''Pimsleur''. The audio courses offered by Pimsleur are quite good, I'm actually learning dutch with one of their audio courses

 

 

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