How to start learning French: Tips for Beginners

today let's say that you're a complete

beginner in French maybe you remember a

word maybe two maybe a Bulger from your

high school lessons but not not very

very much and this year or maybe next if

you're watching this next year it

decided you want to learn French you

have your own reasons maybe it's for a

trip that you want to take to France on

the next holidays maybe you want to

reconnect with the side of your family

living in France or maybe you just want

to impress your spouse or it's just for

the fun of learning the language the

question is where do you start

friends is a difficult language lots of

people talk about the French

pronunciation as being very difficult

fast spoken French as being something

incomprehensible grammar being very

difficult local accent conjugation so my

language has a reputation for being

something very difficult well was later

hide girls but the issue is learning a

language and this applies to all of them

is that you have too many choices as a

beginner the whole process on top of

being a bit overwhelming because French

seems difficult you have so many

resources that you don't know where to


for example should you pick a city on

Amazon should you start with duolingo

rosetta stone a children's book

listening to French podcasts well the

issue is that some resources are

outdated some resources are a completely

wrong and it's very hard to find a

reliable modern fun way that suits you

your needs and your busy schedule so

today the goal of this lesson is to help

you have a plan to learn French from

scratch with confidence as usual you can

download the full lesson on come in

France acecomm the interest of getting

the lesson on come in France as this

week is that you will have all the links

to the resources to learn French as a

beginner mentioned in this video this is

very useful if you're watching this on

YouTube because I cannot put all the

things there getting the lesson is free

you just have to give your first name

and email

to get the PDF of the lesson right away

so you can download it keep it for later

maybe print it and take notes

I'm jihad in Japanese you're coming from

says at a tea party


my first question all the time to all my

students is why do you want to learn

French too many don't know why they want

to learn French but knowing is key to

get on the right path and to learn the

right thing for example some students

would say I love French it's my favorite

language it's a beautiful language I've

always wanted to learn it's been on my

bucket list for years so these students

what do they want they want to feel the

pride and excitement of embracing a new

hobby for example this is what I call

learning French language skills only

that absolutely fine it's a kind of goal

and other students maybe you will say

I'm going to France soon to visit leave

or study and I want to be comfortable

and speak with the locals so what do you

want to feel in this case you want to

feel like you can get along when you

visit France because you have the

confidence and the knowledge to speak

French a little this is what I call

learning practical French the third case

I hear a lot about is I want to connect

with my French friends or maybe my

in-laws my family maybe my French

husband or wife this way you want to

feel like you can exchange more than

just polite smiles with your French

in-laws or nephews or maybe integrate

and make French friends in France

instead of just staying with expats only

so this is what I called family and

friends French is different from the

ones that I mentioned before and the

fourth goal is more connected to culture

so for example the students might say I

want to connect with my heritage for

example my grandmother is from Normandy

and I've always wanted to learn French I

want to feel exposed to new and exciting

things new people new ideas and a great

appreciation for French culture that

runs in my blood so you see this is more

about understanding what's going on the

culture the history and this

is what I call culturals French so now I

show you the four cases of kind of the

goals that you might have to learn

French and what you want to feel which

is extremely important so please pause

the lesson whether you're watching this

on YouTube one coming process maybe

you're in the metro not in the car I

hope at home having breakfast and think

why do you want to learn French which of

these cases apply to you take the

closest one so I can show you what to do

next to learn French as a beginner did

you find it it will be wonderful to let

me know in the comments what suits you


so I can help you and we can share ideas


before I give you the tiers of what to

do to learn French

as a beginner according to your goal I

want you to go through three common

difficulties for beginners in French the

things that all of you will like their

form and have difficulties with and to

show you that you can get beyond that

okay these are the three areas where

French is difficult for english-speaking

learners if you are from

spanish-speaking country it will be

easier other things will be more

difficult okay and this applies to all

the goals I want you go through this

together so you don't make the biggest

mistake of all which is to stop in front

of very common difficulty that you can

go through easily if you have someone

showing you how the first difficulty is

French pronunciation you have to know

that some sounds are hard for example

all and earth the French are these are

very very famous ones that are difficult

and some sons might be impossible to

hear or say that's fine do not freak out

this kind of sounds might take you 20

years or maybe you will never get them

it's and for example for some people it

will be all in the air that I mentioned

before but it will depend on where

you're from and

who taught you et cetera but again it's

a common difficulty you're not the first

one and you should not give up because

of that for example as you might know my

mom is Mexican I'm Mexican as well on

top of French and it's funny because

after 36 years in France there's some

sounds that my mom still can't set

she's perfectly bilingual that's fine

but there are sounds that are difficult

for her and what she does is yet she

just rephrasing the phrases that are

difficult for her for example at

Christmastime were at the market buying

onions and she couldn't say the Xoom

you'll do which means it's a kind of

onion that I think it's the yellow one

and she couldn't say it so she rephrase

it to avoid having to repeat herself ten

times she just showed it first and then

that she wanted to but this particular

sounds oh wow and who are difficult to

make different for her in such a small

sentence so it's fine you can get around

it and you can be bilingual even if your

pronunciation is not absolutely perfect

so please relax especially as a beginner

it's going to be okay you will sound and

feel a little bit ridiculous when you're

practicing in front of your bathroom

mirror but actually when you're speaking

French with the context real life and

real expectations as a beginner you will

be mostly understood and it will be

perfectly fine so don't freak out

because the French pronunciation however

I'm going to give you two main tips my

shortcuts for beginners you can avoid

99% of the pronunciation mistakes that

like clueless tourist do by learning the

silent letters in the new words that you

learn this puts you on the right path

from the start and it will save you lots

of time strange correct yourself later

and sounding weird and I have to say as

a teacher I've been teaching for over 60

well I'm a bit anxious and tired of

students like saying bon appetit when

there's a harvest she won't level

beginners are fine you all make mistakes

but it means that your real

understanding of pronunciation is not

the same as where you should be

especially at the c1 and c2 level which

are very very advanced so for example

Bon Appetit Bon Appetit

you don't say that he at the end so for

example as a beginner what you can do is

when you're learning new words in the

textbook or just writing them down just

cross with a pencil the letters that we

don't say and this way you learn the

word right from the start so remember my

shortcut fault beginner is to avoid

saying the sign of letters from the

start and this you can learn from any

book and you can just cross the letter

with a pencil now my T for

perfectionists if you're very very much

into learning French very well from the

start be aware of the differences

between written and modern spoken French

even as a beginner this will thank you a

big headache later when you hear French

in real life and you want to actually

speak with real people spoken French is

a bit like music it has to sound right

so sometimes we change it a little bit

to make it sound much more smooth and

fluid for example we make large ears oh

it's a very French thing where you merge

some words into each other so they sound

better we also eat some letters and we

cut some words knowing that will help

you avoid sounding like a rigid textbook

or an old-fashioned French for example

in English it would be like me sounding

like Hamlet in Shakespeare it's nice but

it's not how French people actually

speak so if you're a perfectionist and

very much into learning French properly

just be aware of that very quickly from

the start and it will get you on the

right path the second big mistake is to

focus too

on the gender of nouns in French nouns

have a gender that either feminine or

masculine we don't have any neutral like

I think German has and most of the time

the rest of the phrase has to agree with

the gender of the noun so we have the

objective we have the article and we

have the verb I know it's scary but it

doesn't have to be because students

should not focus too much on the gender

of nouns um at the start

especially because no French person

cares if you make these kind of mistakes

I told you about my mom trying to avoid

certain sounds in French well my friend

Christina who's been in France for 15

years we made a video together by the

way you should check it out if you want

to know how to become more fluent in

French she's bilingual too but she gave

up on the gender of nouns because that's

way too difficult for her her friend

she's fantastic

but when she's speaking she just she

just gave up on certain nouns because

it's just too much to think about

however what she does is that when she's

writing emails in French she always

checks the gender there because she

knows that she has time to actually fix

her French but not in conversation so

even her after 15 years working for big

companies in France and being a

fantastic French speaker she just gave

up so don't think too much about that my

shortcut for beginners here is to learn

only the gender of nouns that you will

need don't worry too much about learning

list of vocabulary you will use only

once a year and please relax again think

about Christina she just gave up on them

after some time again French people know

it's hard because we had to learn them

as well and some French people we even

think that your mistakes are sexy you

will remind them of the English singer

Jane Birkin who makes tons of mistakes

especially on gender and last of people

think it's cute my tip for perfectionist

is to go beyond that so if I say don't

care about the gender of nouns in spoken

French because it shouldn't get in the

way of you speaking

always check the gender of nouns when

you actually writing in French do you

what my friend Christina does well she's

an English teacher so she knows how to

how to learn languages and so do what

she does what she does is always you

know use an autocorrect on her computer

or check the gender of nouns this will

help you always think about what you're

writing and always question yourself am

i writing this properly and also it will

help you with your grammar and

conjugation later but even for now

that's a good start

focus on the nouns when you're writing

something and use a dictionary maybe a

website such as world reference calm or

any way you can to check the gender of

nouns when you're writing things again

if you're perfection is try to be

ruthless in your writing when you're

using a computer because you have all

the tools you need and at least checking

the gender of nouns will make you think

about your French and progress much

faster the third issue that students

have when they're learning French even

as beginners is the French grammar the

conjugation and all the exceptions we

have in French I have to tell you that

unfortunately learning French is endless

even after 50 years of learning you will

never ever ever speak French perfectly

and that's fine it's okay so don't

assume you will learn all the grammar

and conjugation at an a.1 level before

moving to aging people don't even know

everything at a c2 level which is almost

bilingual and even French people don't

so don't freak out it's okay to not know

everything and it's okay to make

mistakes so as a beginner

only focus on doubling down on learning

your foundations right I know it sounds

like I'm a classic teacher but I am a

classic picture I love teachers they're

awesome but you have to get your

foundations right so you can build on

what you're learning then for grammar

and conjugate

don't go like I'm going to sell teach

myself French because it's going to get

much much more difficult than you think

and you will focus on the wrong elements

if you want to have a few tips of what

you focus on for beginners in terms of

verbs and conjugation focus on the first

group verbs that all the verbs ending in

ER plus at which is to be I've worked to

have la which is to go and Voula vous la

which is to want that's good enough for

now as a beginner for conjugation just

focus on the present and focus on the

shortcuts for conjugation so for example


pris affinities le the verbs to go press

infinitive instead of learning in future

this is how French people speak we don't

use some tenses so don't learn them I

see so many students trying to learn

French on their own and learning things

that are absolutely of no use whatsoever

in French my short course for beginners

in terms of grammar is extremely simple

make short sentences I say that all the

time when I correct my students homework

in my last program

Rosalinda jihad in which is way too

advanced for you right now

make short sentences I know it sounds

obvious and a bit but by making short

structured sentences you make less

mistakes and you will become more

confident in your french mistakes don't

matter but clarity does so remember make

short sentences whether you're speaking

or writing and this way your grammar

will get like good I'd say 90% of the

time is you stick to what you know and

you will know much more than what you

think you can actually learn you should

take the right path so trust me this

will make your French much better and

much clearer now my tip if you're a

perfectionist of French grammar and

conjugation of

biggest traps for perfectionists stay on

the path and if you want to focus on

something focus on spoken French grammar


for example learn very fast how we drop

the nerd in negation how we replace the

new with all in modern spoken French

learn all the conjugation shortcuts I

mentioned before instead of learning

useless tenses you will sound French

very very quickly this way and you won't

get lost

and have these like analyzes paradises

what should I say what tense should I

use because this is what perfectionists

do and I've seen lots of students

getting lost this way students with a

fantastic mind and motivation got lost

along along the way because they were

focusing on too many things at the same

time there's one last thing I wanted to

mention I talked about three mistakes is

that a big mistake for students I've

seen that a lot in French but it applies

to all the languages is waiting to speak

perfectly before starting to speak this

applies to all languages I assume

students of German of English obviously

of Hindi of Japanese Spanish everything

they they won't just speak perfectly

before they actually used a language and

recently I was talking to students at a

b2 level confessing that she was too shy

to speak French and this shouldn't

happen I know it's easy to say but it's

a common perfectionist trap I've seen

that before you won't be the only one

it's fine but and sometimes you just

need a big hug and some reassurance you

can I can do that you can do that as

well don't wait do not wait to have a

perfect French to use it again if you

make short sentences to stick to the

past use the buckaroo you know don't

focus too much on the general words you

can very very very easily start using

your French you absolutely don't need

something complicated you can do it I

absolutely trust you


now let's talk about the big subject of

today how to learn French according to

your goal so before I share these

resources I won't you just preside that

none of the resources I mentioned or

affiliates I'm not earning any money by

sharing them and none of the creators

are paying me to say that I recommend

these resources in real life to friends

of friends who want to learn French I've

been recommending them for years and now

that I'm actually finally doing

something for beginners this is what I

want to share with you the methods and

resources I chose for today's lesson are

available online or all around the world

this was a very big criteria for me they

have to be available to you right now if

I don't mention the resource it's not

because I hate it or don't like it no

it's just because I had to pick a few so

please share your experience in the

comments if you loved a resource or a

method that I didn't share today and

that you actually enjoyed in French even

if you are just above the beginner level

for people who want to learn French

language skills only without really any

culture that just wants to do it for the

fun there are two options the first one

we mentioned is French language skills

only so here we have two options and

both are fine there is no judgment there

the first option is you're not very

serious about learning French is just

for fun or just as a complete beginner

to see how French is what you could do

and learning a few words obviously the

first resource I could mention is

duolingo because it's free and very

accessible it's popular and you play it

like a game honestly I very rarely

recommend your lingo because it provides

no cultural context

it shows you a lot of useless vocabulary

and the forum's about the French

language are often wrong but it's a very

good start and the repetition system is

great and I know lots of students who

started with this app so I'm not going

to throw any stone on this method

learning the language my partner started

learning Spanish with the lingo to meet

my Mexican family and it was a good fit

because for a two-week trip it was fine

and I was there to provide cultural

context and tell you what matters and

what did not so he started there it's

not perfect but if it's just for the fun

of it and you're not very serious or

into learning French just go for Jengo

it's absolutely fine if you're serious

about learning French there are two

options again you have the live element

and this way I would say go to your

local alias process or any other good

French class with a teacher if you can

join a real-life class to get the

foundations of your French write gone

it's not because I teach online that I

say classes should close no obviously


if you're lucky enough to be able to go

that's a fantastic option what's tricky

with life classes sometimes is that you

need someone reliable to tell you if the

French code is good or not so that's can

that can be tricky but most of them are

fantastic options for you the pros of a

life class is that you have a life

teacher to take care of you so that's

fantastic but the con is that classes

can be over your budget or not available

in your city on your busy schedule so

that very much depends on where you live

and what you're actually doing right now

if you want an online option and you

want to learn French properly from the

start I have my own course which is

called French for beginners body hygiene

it's my first online program for

beginners I've been helping intermediate

and advanced students for over six years

but I've had so many requests that I had

to do it we're opening it next week at

the moment we're in January 2019 so

maybe you're watching this in the future

you can already pre-register to be

notified when we open and this course

will help you master all the basics of

French to have a solid foundation for

your French for now and for the future

so what's good with that you have you

have unlimited access to the course and

lifetime access to all the lessons so


can take it every year again they get

several times you can take it once a

week once a month it's really up to you

however contrary to the adios contest

classes you don't have a teacher to

correct you

your pronunciation me mostly because

there will be quizzes but that's the

difference with what you can have live

you just have to pick what suits your

budget and your schedule now let's move

on to practical French if you want

purely curious French or you're just

going to France for a short professional

stay my favorite resource which I've

been recommending for years is an app

and a service called ear worms my

pronunciation of it is not really good

so just read it below your worms you can

try it using the link that I put below

the video it's a very efficient and

organized phrase book ear worms doesn't

cover any culture but the French is 99%

right and the phrases are perfectly

suited for a visit to France I recommend

you purchase the app if you're

interested so you get the audio and the

text at once which is not always the

case for other options such as the

audiobook so again for a short stay in

France ear worms is fantastic for you

and it's very cheap the second case is

if you want to interact with your locals

so for example the short professional

stay with chit chat at the coffee

machine which is a challenge you use ear

worms and you add I Toki I put a link on

the blog below the video I talk he is a

platform or you can find teachers and

practice partners to learn your language

with its online and it's one to one

so the strategy always recommend

students to do is that they get your

worms they learn the phrases from there

and they practice their french with

itoki afterwards so they can actually

use their French in context and yet

someone talking back to them and that's

a good way to actually have some chit

chat also your pronunciation will be

corrected by a teacher and you can add a

little bit of real-life customs and

culture to your French and that makes

everything better when you want to

interact with French

people in France my t4i talkie and this

is what students told me because lots of

my students use it is to pick a

francophone native teacher if you happen

to be visiting a francophone country

that is not friends a good thing is to

pick a teacher from this country so they

can teach you some slang some rigid

reasons and a few customs from the

country you're going to visit that that

makes your French even more authentic

and fun now let's get into the French

culture a little bit more we're going to

talk about the family and friends French

so this is about connecting with your

French friends maybe your in-laws or

extended families or maybe your French

husband or wife and you want to exchange

more than English or just polite smiles

because you don't speak any French here

my tip is very simple you pick any of

the above the thing that we mentioned

before and you add a big element of

French customs and culture I highly

recommend you do not rely only on your

French 101 to connect with French people

because we have society rules etc and

ways to make friendships and you will do

much much much better but by adding like

some subtleties of French culture to

this French even if it's basic my

recommendations for that you just pick

what suits your learning style for

example books G books I recommend Pamela

recommends book bringing a baby it's

fantastic it's not only about education

for children no it's a lot about social

lives in France fantastic inputs and

great analysis so I highly recommend it

I did a full lesson on that you can find

the link on the blog and also a book by

David Lebovitz called the sweet life in

Paris again great analysis of what's

going on in France in terms of

subtleties and culture and you will find

my interview of David Lebovitz on the

blog below the video as well obviously

if you're more into video lessons you

can just mix and match

the common processes free lessons on

cultural customs and big embarrassing

mistakes this way you will be able to

avoid these embarrassing mistakes and he

will make friends much much more easily

obviously once you know a bit more

French you can get on my more advanced

programs because we mix culture subtlety

and language spoken French so you can

actually make friends very easily

because I analyze how French people make

friends and how you can actually do the

same but that's for when you will be

ready it's not for now at the moment you

have the books and you have all my free

lessons about this particular subject

the last option is culture of French

which is connecting with your heritage

so for that pick any of the above for

learning basic French and then add

French related resources with English

subtitles for cultural French I always

tell students don't pressure yourself

into reaching a c2 level like a

bilingual level just follow your passion

that's absolutely fine I always

recommend you get the basics of French

101 but focus on reading comprehension

and a bit of oral comprehension rather

than speaking and writing too much

because you will use your French as a

way to understand French resources on

your French heritage you can also

explore French customs and French

shuttle cheese as well in order to

understand your family's choice and life

so here are some French resources that

you will enjoy about French culture

history and customs the first one is a

shop a bell

it's a fantastic program about travel

and they have several episodes about

regions of france and francophone

countries there has seen it is Allah is

more like big documentaries about

history and fantastic places in France

like castles or big houses or wines then

we have sip a soft ship sip associate

talks about everything for children I

highly recommend you focus on any

episode on history or certain countries

you also have many other documentaries


sport TV which is a replay site for all

the French national TV programs for

example you can focus on art cuisine

history travels etc and at last acting

as well has fantastic programs on France

so the goal for you here is you're

focusing on French culture is just you

know enough French to grasp enough of

what's being said and understand the

French subtleties to enrich your

knowledge of French culture beyond just

the cliche that you can find in some

resources I hope you found this path let

me know in the comments what you will do

to learn French my program French for

beginners by jihad it will open next

week so if you want to receive all the

details I will leave a link below this

video on common process and you will see

if it's a good fit for you there's no

pressure if you like this video or if

you want to share these ideas with your

Francophile friends please do it that's

the best way to support my free work you

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that lots of people want to learn French

and they struggle because there are so

many options again here we saw deaf

different methods according to what you

want some are free some are chips are

somehow more expensive but at least if

you follow the path you will make

wonders and you will speak French in no

time so if you want more French more

spoken French you can get my free 10-day

everyday sense crash course to double

your French in just 10 days it's a free

course even if you're a beginner there

are cultural elements their customs

elements and you can learn a few

expressions here and there and it's lots

of fun it's completely free you just

have to subscribe on come in small cells

combine living your first name and email

and you will get lesson one right away I

wish you in bonne journee which is a

good day

you need burn up remedy a good afternoon

or maybe in bunny a good night which is

already night

and I will see you next time re sorry