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How to Speak French?

2. 1865 How to Speak French

With more and more people opting to learn foreign languages, French is one of the most demanded languages in today’s time. It is seen mentioned in the ‘languages known’ section in Curriculum Vitaes of professionals. For students who aim to pursue higher studies abroad, especially in Europeanean countries, having French language knowledge is essential. It gives them an added advantage when applying to foreign universities.

Indeed, French is easy to learn if you know other European languages such as -Italian and Spanish! Some words are quite similar, and so is the grammar. But not so much when it comes to speaking the language. To learn the pronunciation of certain French words, it will take you some effort, and some of them are not similar to Spanish or Italian. Spanish and Italian are quite identical in terms of dialects but not French.

How to write in French?

French is not difficult to learn, given how the grammar works. The nouns are either feminine or masculine, just like in Spanish and Italian. Even the ‘a’s and ”s occur differently for a feminine and a masculine noun word.

For example, for “the man” it is, “un Homme” and for “the woman,” it is “Une femme.” Similarly, for ‘the’ it is “the man= l’homme” and for “the woman= la femme.”

Old French

The words that are mostly used in French have been obtained from Vulgar Latin and are known for having Greek or even Latin origins. Stated here are certain adjectives and native nouns that people tend to use:

Words like brother are pronounced as frère or fraternal that have been derived from the Latin word frater, also known as fraternalis. Finger in French is known as doigt / digital which has been derived from the Latin word digitus, also known as digitalis. Another adjective that one may come across is faith which in French is known as foi or even fidèle that has been taken from the Latin word fides or Fidelis. If you want to say the word eye in French, you pronounce it as œil or oculaire which comes from the Latin phrase oculus, also known as ocularis.

However, a historical reference to Latin roots can be identified, whereas English falls towards more of direct incorporation of the Latin:

· rayonnement / radiation from Latin radiatio

· éteindre / extinguish from Latin exstinguere

· noyau / nucleus from Latin nucleus

· ensoleillement / insolation from Latin insolatio

There are also noun-noun and adjective-adjective pairs:

· thing/cause: chose / cause from Latin causa

· cold: froid / frigide from Latin frigidum


Since French has evolved from Vulgar Latin, it is quite difficult to identify- the Latin source of native words, the syllables that are unstressed were reduced severely, the consonants and vowels that remained had to undergo significant modification.

In recent times, the linguistic policy that exists in the French language and is used in the academies of Quebec and France is provided with French equivalents for words that have been imported mainly from English. This is done by either using the vocabulary that already exists, by simply extending their meaning or developing a new word with the help of the rules of French morphology. Two or even more co-existing terms that are used to describe a similar phenomenon are the results that have been derived. Given here is a list of root languages of loanwords.

  English (25.10%)

  Italian (16.83%)

  Germanic languages (13.10%)

  Arabic (5.12%)

  German (3.91%)

  Celtic languages (3.81%)

  Spanish (3.81%)

  Dutch (3.64%)

  Persian and Sanskrit (2.67%)

  Native American languages (2.41%)

  Various Asian languages (2.12%)

  Afro-Asiatic languages (1.33%)

  Slavic and Baltic languages (1.31%)

  Basque (0.24%)

  Other languages (3.43%)

· mercatique / marketing

· finance fantôme / shadow banking

· bloc-notes / notepad

· ailière / wingsuit

· tiers-lieu / coworking

The counting system in French is referred to as “vigesimal” or even “vingt,” which means twenty. This word is also used as a base for the number that starts from70 and ends at 99. The word in French for the number 80 is “quatre-vingts,” which means “four twenties.” This word, used for pronouncing the number 75 is “soixante-quinze,” which means sixty and fifteen. This formation had risen after the French Revolution to unify the system of counting. This system can be compared to the archaic used for a score for English as “fourscore an seven” for the number 87 and “threescore ten for the number 70.

All numbers in old French that range from 30 to 99 can be pronounced either in base ten or base twenty. For example, ‘vint et doze’, translates to twenty twelve and is used for saying the number 32; ‘douz vinz et diz’, also translates to two twenties and ten, and is used for describing the number 50; ‘uitante’, is used for the number 80 and ‘nonante’ is used for the number 90.

Different forms of French include- Belgian French, Swiss French and the language of French that is used for conversation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, and Rwanda. The French language is used for communication in these places uses the word ‘septante’ to describe the number 70 and ‘nonante’ for the number 90.

According to French dialect used in Switzerland, 80 is pronounced as ‘quatre-vingts’ or as ‘Geneva’, ‘Jura’, or as ‘Neuchâtel’. In the earlier times, ‘octante’ was used in Switzerland for describing the number 80, but now it is considered as archaic. In Belgium and colonies of former Africa, the word ‘quatre-vingts’, was used universally.

Like any other language in the European continent, French also uses space to separate the thousands. The comma that is used in the numbers in French as a decimal point, i.e. “2,5″ instead of “2.5.”

How to pronounce?

The pronunciations are the main deal in learning French. There are tons of language apps like Duolingo, Rype, Busuu, Memrise, Babble, etc. to help you determine the language with ease. That will work on your grammar, pronunciation as well as your hearing.

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