If you’re tired of spending long hours studying without making much progress then you’re probably looking for a way to learn French fast. The inconvenient truth about language learning however is that no matter which way you look at it or which method you use it’s going to be long and difficult.
However, a lot of the difficulties that French learners face that slow them down are usually avoidable or at least don’t have to slow them down as much as they do.
Let’s take a look at some adjustments you can make to your overall French learning strategy that will help you learn French fast.
Learn French Fast by Learning The Most Frequent Words First
We’ve talked about this in previous articles, but this is probably one of the best thing you can do to speed up the time it takes you to learn French.
Most people take the time to learn the vocabulary that they think they will need to either get by in a French-speaking country or that will allow them to understand topics that they are interested in (music, sports, movies, etc..).
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing to do, but if you take this route when learning French vocabulary then you can easily miss the most important vocabulary you need.
Of the 100,000 or so words found in The Grand Robert French dictionary only 2000 or 3000 of them are needed to say and understand the vast majority of everything.
If you want to learn French as quickly as possible then take the time to really master the most frequently-used words.
Once you have gotten these down pat you can take your time to learn more vocabulary if you’d like at a slower pace. The takeaway from all of this is that you really shouldn’t learn vocabulary at random, but rather learn the words that native speakers use the most.
Learn French Fast by Listening From Day One And Never Stopping
Don’t forget that when you are learning your mother tongue you spend the first few years of your life listening without ever uttering a word.
Most people tend to agree when they hear this, but then forget that this also applies to them when they are learning French (or whatever language they have decided to learn).
Here’s what you need to do. Start by finding audio content that is around your level. If you are a total beginner then just find something that is meant for beginners.
It’s not really important if you understand it although if you understand it so well that you are bored with it then you should probably find something that is a little more difficult.
Spend as much time as you possibly can listening to your content and switch it out often with other pieces of content that are around the same level. If you have the time then actively listen to it and try to understand as much as you can.
If you are busy and aren’t able to actively listen then just listen to it in the background.
The idea here isn’t to necessarily improve your listening skills (although it can certainly help) but rather to get the language to sound less foreign to you. If you are a total beginner then every time you listen to French it’s likely just going to sound like a bunch of noise to you.
It’s impossible to make out one syllable from another let alone one word or sentence from another. When you get a massive amount of listening exposure however the language slowly starts to sound less and less like noise and more and more like a language you simply don’t understand.
In the beginning you’re likely so unfamiliar with the French language (or whichever language you have chosen to learn) that if you heard it you probably wouldn’t even know that it was French.
Because the amount of listening you need to do this successfully is quite a lot it’s best that you do this as soon as possible and as much as possible so that you can get as many hours of listening in as you can.
Learn French Fast by Building Up Your Muscle Memory
I could talk about this all day because it’s just that important. The vast majority of people look at language learning as strictly a mental task. This definitely isn’t false, but what a lot of learners don’t realize is that it’s just as much a physical one.
In order to effortlessly speak French without even thinking about it you need to build up the muscles in your face and mouth just like you have with your native language.
So many people neglect this because it’s never actually taught in any French classrooms or French-learning books. Have you ever thought of a perfectly logical correct French sentence in your head only for it to come out as a jumbled mess when you try to speak it?
It’s because you haven’t built up enough muscle memory. Just like going to the gym and working out it takes time and dedication to build up your muscles. The same idea applies here.
The sooner you get working out your facial muscles by speaking the sooner you get to build up your muscles. Just as you may expect, you can do this at home without anybody to practice with.
Just find a book (or other piece of written content) that is at about your level and just slowly make your way through it reading out loud.
Take as long as you need to pronounce each word. You don’t want to get into the habit of rushing through words and mispronouncing them.
Learn French Fast by Skipping the Grammar
There are plenty of people out there who say that when learning a language you should just outright skip learning grammar. I typically don’t go that far, but if you are looking to learn French fast then this may be a great solution for you.
There are so many concepts in French that if you really took the time to learn them you would no doubt just confuse yourself and slow down your progress.
The problem and reason why most people rush to learn grammar is because they feel the need to justify logically what they are learning.
If they learn something that doesn’t make much sense to them they want to have some sort of explanation that makes it all make sense to them.
Unfortunately for us language learners it just doesn’t work like this.
Some language concepts just don’t have any real logical explanation and can’t (or just shouldn’t) be learned through learning grammar rules.
Also, in many cases learning the grammar rules doesn’t even help you understand what you’re learning, but rather just makes you even more confused.
If you want to learn French as quickly as possible then keep an open mind and don’t get too worked up about whether or not things make sense. Just take things at face value and move on.
Learn French Fast by Studying Every Single Day
No matter how you choose to go about learning French there is one thing that will hinder your progress more than probably anything else. Even if you have the best methods your level of French won’t improve very much if you don’t practice every single day.
Too many people treat learning French like a hobby, only doing it when they feel like it.
Even if you don’t have that much time to study it’s better to take that little amount of time and study each day than it is to study once or twice a week for much longer.
Your brain memorizes things when it is able to create connections. Connections take a little while to make and in order for them to get stronger you have to refresh what you’ve learned as often as possible.
It’s good enough just to study every single day, but if you had to pick a time to do it then I would suggest at night right before bed.
What are your favorite ways to learn French fast? Do you agree with our methods? Why or why not? Comment below and tell us what you think.