Everything you need to know about French lessons for beginners
Updated: Feb 23
Learning a foreign language can be very challenging at the beginning, since every language has its own special characteristics. A beginner’s most important task is to learn the alphabet, sounds, intonations, grammar and basic vocabulary. French is one of the most popular languages in the world, and because of its interesting history, it is very different from the other romance languages such as Italian, Portuguese, Romanian or Spanish. Let’s see what you can expect in beginner French classes!
Why does the French language sound so unique and characteristic?
Did you know that French is one of the five main romance languages that descended from Latin? If you think of each language, you might realize that French definitely stands out because of its unique sounds. But why is that? Let us take you on a trip to the past!
Modern-day France along with Belgium, Switzerland, parts of Northern Italy, the Netherlands and even Germany was once part of a region called Gaul. Gaul was conquered by The Romans from the 1st century BC to the 5th century AD. The Romans spoke Vulgar Latin, so they required the population of Gaul to speak Latin as well, which resulted in a mixed Latin and Celtic language.
In the 3rd Century German tribes invaded Western Europe, so a lot of groups ended up settling in northern France, who were referred to as the Franks. The Franks spoke Vulgar Latin in their very own way, which resulted in the French language being much different from the other four romance languages.
No wonder why the French language is so unique, since it has gone under a lot of transformation since its original version. However, the interesting and ever-changing history made it sound so special and beautiful. The main reason why this language sounds like a romantic poem is because there are some rules that affect the different sounds to be even smoother and lilt.
French is spoken by more than 300 million people, which officially makes it a world language. Learning French is a great opportunity for educational or business related purposes, and since France has an exciting culture, gastronomy and art, it is definitely a good idea to really get into it.
What does beginner level stand for?
If you are interested in taking beginner French lessons, you should set a few goals and limits in order to succeed. The first thing to know is that on an A1 beginner level you should be familiar with basic expressions and know how to use them in order to satisfy your basic needs.
Beginner French courses usually start with a basic introduction, how to say “Hello”, “How are you” , “Thank you” and “Goodbye”, so you can get familiar with the easiest and most commonly used vocabulary. You also start with the French alphabet in order to get familiar with the different sounds you will be using during your beginner French courses.
An A2 is a more advanced elementary level, which means you are able to understand and answer common sentences, and can communicate about everyday-life topics besides your basic needs. You are familiar with the alphabet and the basic French sounds, but you might still experience difficulties understanding native French speakers.
It’s important to know that taking basic French lessons are only enough to cover basic needs, make simple conversations and to read simple articles in magazines. It might not be enough for you to use it in a workplace, but with hard work and persistence you might get to your prefered level. If you are focusing on taking French lessons for beginners and get a really strong foundation, you might find yourself speaking like a native within months or a few years!
What are the main topics of beginner French lessons?
Being a beginner means that after you have gotten familiar with the basics, you can ask and answer a few simple questions and tell a little bit about yourself, for example ask for a coffee or tell your name and your origin country.
Alphabet and numbers
Every language’s basic foundation is their alphabet and numbers. French beginner lessons usually start with getting familiar with the alphabet and how to pronounce the different sounds.
Food and drink
Whenever we travel abroad or even move to a different country, covering our basic needs is the most important thing to do. It’s not only useful for us, but also a nice gesture towards the waiter or salesperson to ask and thank the food and drinks in their language.
When traveling to a different country, it is highly recommended to get familiar with the currency they are using. You should also be aware of the most commonly used questions and answers, for example paying by cash or card. Tipping might also differ in every country, so we recommend you to get familiar with the habits.
Favorite hobbies and activities
Talking about your favorite hobbies and activities is a great way to start a French conversation for beginners. This way you can share some foundational parts of your personality and it makes it easier to get to know someone.
Pets and other animals
Talking about pets and animals in general is always an uplifting and fun thing to do. It is however also important to be able to express yourself if you are allergic to cats or dogs for example.
Talking about your daily routine is a great start of a French conversation for beginners. It is helpful when you try to arrange a meeting with someone and discuss the ideal time slots with them.
When you visit a French-speaking country, all of the above mentioned topics are important to know at least on a basic level. When you are asking for directions, the difficult part might be to actually understand the native speaker.
How to start learning French on a beginner level?
Even though French might seem a difficult language, taking French beginner lessons is the best thing you can do in order to start your journey. The foundations and the basics are the most important part in learning any language, so you should make sure that you are committed and ready to dive into a French course for beginners.
Read a lot of French content you are interested in
No matter how enthusiastic you are, in the beginning you should learn French just like a baby learns how to speak. Start with easy and simple words, expressions, and get a few easy-to-read French books. You might even consider looking at your favorite kids’ book which you know by heart, and get a French edition to read!
Watch French dubbed movies with subtitles
Watching French dubbed movies with subtitles can help you get familiar with the sounds, intonations and commonly used words and expressions. It is also helpful to learn more about French culture and their everyday lives. It is an extra help if you are already familiar with the story, and can concentrate on the dialogue.
Talk to native French speakers or other students
French pronunciation might be difficult, and in order to have a great, native-sounding accent, you should talk to native speakers. No matter how good a teacher is, a native French teacher will always have an advantage in teaching pronunciation perfectly, so you should consider choosing one. They will think, speak and act like a native, which should be your main goal. Getting a penpal or an online friend could also help in figuring out how to speak French for beginners.
Attend French lessons for beginners
In order to get familiar with this beautiful language, taking a French course for beginners is the best way to start. Attending classes in person might not always be very convenient because of work and school schedules, but you can always attend an online French course for beginners. This way you can learn the basics, and build up your knowledge to a very high level, and still be comfortable and always on time.
Are you looking for French lessons for beginners?
Learning a language without any knowledge whatsoever can be very challenging. However, getting to a native level and speaking like a French person is definitely possible with the right teacher, the right program and just enough commitment. If you have a busy schedule but still would like to get to a basic level, you can always try online French lessons for beginners.
French From Anywhere can help you get started in your French journey with a free first class! The experienced native speaking teachers will help you achieve your goal with personalized Skype lessons and create a unique study plan! It has never been easier and more efficient to learn French online for beginners, so grab a coffee and a croissant, and dive into this fantastic language!