Many of you who decided to learn French are certainly wondering how you could speak French fast and become fluent. This is a legitimate question, as nobody wants to spend years learning French. But how can you get there? What is the best way to learn French fast? What are some effective strategies?
I am not sure there is one unique best way but ways. In this post, I'll share with you 15 great tips to explore that will certainly help you learn French fast and reach fluency.
Tip#1 Have a clear objective
You need to know at what point you are and where you want to go. That means you need to define what your global learning objective is. Then, you should decline it into small objectives.
If my global objective is to speak fluently French within 3 months, I can decline it into monthly objectives, weekly and daily objectives.
For example, my weekly objective could be: learning at least 50 new words, getting at least 2 interactions with French speakers, watching at least 2 series or movies, practicing daily on the conjugation of common verbs, and so on.
That way, you'll be able to make a follow-up and assess your achievements.
Tip#2 Love the French language as much as you can
It's obvious that when you don't like a language, learning it would be boring and even annoying. But when you find a way to love it, you will be surprised about what you can do. It gives you wings, and you are willing to learn more and practice it. This makes your language acquisition easier and you will see that you learn faster.
Tip#3 Make it a routine to write in French
Get yourself a personal diary and write inside all the things that happen in your day. This will give you the habit of writing in French and it will be a guaranteed daily practice for you and a continuous exposure to the French language.
Tip#4 Use a notebook
Find yourself a notebook where you’ll write down all your new words. You can even classify them per category. A lot of electronic devices have notebooks, but I won’t recommend using them. Use a traditional notebook and write with a pen. As it has been proven, you can increase your ability to memorize through writing.
Tip#5 Visualize objects
Personally, I am a visual learner. I remember easily when I can visualize words. My best advice would be to find something visual to relate to, for every new word you encounter. This will make things easier to memorize and accelerate your French learning.
Tip#6 - Use flashcards for vocabulary learning
Nowadays there are numerous websites and apps that allow you to create your own flashcards and practice with them like Quizlet for example. There are also apps like Memrise, already containing flashcards, with which you can practice. Another great tool is Lingopie, a TV streaming app that allows you to watch movies and TV shows in French, with the possibility of clicking on the words you are not familiar with and check their meaning. These words are automatically converted to flashcards that you can review later. I have personally tried Lingopie and loved it. They have a 7-day free trial in case you might want to test the platform.
Tip#7 - Look for a French buddy, partner, or teacher
The best way to learn French fast is to practice with a native speaker. You can find free online websites/apps that connect people who are looking for language exchanges like Hello Talk, Speaky Conversation exchange or you can find yourself a French teacher for conversational lessons. Websites like Italki, Lingoda or Preply help you find a teacher online.
Tip#8 - Join a dynamic Facebook group or Instagram influencer
A lot of Facebook groups allow thousands of people who share a common language passion, to interact and practice daily. The same goes for Instagram with tons of French influencers willing to teach you French daily. Find dynamic ones so you’ll be able to practice and reply to their posts. This will be a natural way of practicing your French and you can discover a lot of new things by time.
Tip#9 - Immediately re-use any new word
Every time you discover a new word, don’t just stop there. Make a sentence and try to immediately re-use the word. You'll notice that you create a connection with it and it becomes easier to memorize. I always ask my students to make their own sentences once they learn a new word and that learning strategy seems to work for them and it's something you can also try. It won't cost you anything, just beneficial.
Tip#10 - Travel in a Francophone country
If possible, make a trip to a francophone country: by getting to speak daily with natives, you’ll learn colloquial expressions, get used to the accents, and have good exposure to their culture. If you are not able to travel physically, you can travel virtually by watching French TV programs, series or listening to podcasts in French.
You can also get a French immersion through online schools like Lingoda. Lingoda has the advantage of having many native-certified teachers. With them, you book the classes at the time you want 24/7 and You are assigned to any teacher who is available at that time. Therefore, you may not be dealing with only one teacher and sadly realize later that you can only understand that person because you are used to his/her way of speaking (accent, tone, flow). Instead, with Lingoda, you are exposed to several teachers, with different ways of speaking and that trains you to get used to the variations of accents. I am sure you don't ignore that even in France, there are regional accents. The accent of people from the Parisian region is not for instance the same as the one of those in the south of France.
If you manage to be at ease with the teachers of Lingoda, you can be confident about your ability to speak and understand French, and you can right away book a trip to France because you know you can survive there.
Tip#11 - Change all your devices' language to French
Change all your devices' language to French. I know it can be difficult at the beginning to get used to it but you’ll quickly notice that you are naturally becoming familiar with the vocabulary and the language. So, your phone, and laptop's language to French from now on.
Tip#12 - Don't be afraid of making mistakes
Mistakes are welcome as I like saying: by this, I mean not to be afraid of making mistakes. This is one of the reasons why a lot of French learners are still struggling with their fluency. They are scared of making mistakes, and about what people will say. Don’t bother asking yourself all these questions. Any human being makes mistakes and it’s a normal process. Let's take the example of a baby while trying to walk. He will fall, sometimes get hurt and cry but he will always learn from his mistakes. Consider mistakes as an opportunity to learn, to improve your fluency in French.
Tip#13 - Avoid translating from English to French
Doing this will slow down the way you speak as you would want to find each word and place it in the appropriate place. But that’s a mistake. In French, things don’t necessarily work the same way as in English or any other language. "A beautiful dress" would be translated in French as "une belle robe" for example. You can see that the adjectives are not at the same place. So, don't think over and over : If you want to say something, just SAY IT ! Always remember that mistakes are welcome.
Tip#14 - Stay positive
Let me share one of my favorite quote : "Your attitude will determine your altitude". If millions of people can learn French, why not you? Always tell yourself that if others can do it, YOU CAN ALSO DO IT. And believe it !
As we like to say in French, " Ce n’est pas sorcier" => It's not a rocket science.
French is not difficult and it is not easy as well and I know you might be tempted to give up at some point or get discouraged. That’s why you You need some self motivation to boost your envy to learn French.
Tip#15 - Practice and practice
It is never too much to practice. Practice is the key strategy to success. Give yourself time and if possible practice at the same time every day to create a learning routine. Remember that you don’t need to do a lot at once. You can practice even if it’s 15 minutes per day. Whether it’s a new rule, a reading, or new words that you learn, it’s still good to practice. Like in any other domain, Consistency is the rule.
A last tip but not the least is to have fun while learning. Yes, it is important to learn while doing something you like. If you like watching movies, go ahead and get yourself a subscription to Lingopie or Netflix, or any language-related streaming TV. And if you are a fan of music, find the lyrics of your favorite songs and sing them along. You will notice that you are naturally remembering the words and expressions from the song.
To conclude, it's clear that there are different ways to learn French fast, but you will need a clear strategy if you want to achieve this goal. You should start by defining clear objectives and then apply the other tips shared with you today and you will see a great improvement in your language fluency.