French Language

FRENCH CLASSES AT BSL

HEY ALL !! THE MUCH AWAITED CLASSES ARE HERE !!

BSL INTRODUCES FRENCH CLASSES .THE MOST DEMANDED FOREIGN LANGUAGE AT A STEP NEAR YOU .

IT IS BEING INTIMATED FOR A SUBSTANTIAL  STEP FOR THE LEARNERS OF FRENCH IN LUCKNOW BY MRS AUDREY, HERSELF A FRENCH CITIZEN ,  IS AVAILABLE TO TRAIN YOU UNDER THE  PANEL OF BRITISH SCHOOL OF LANGUAGE 

AMONG THE MOST DEMANDED FOREIGN LANGUAGES , FRENCH IS ONE OF THE MOST INTERESTING AND EASIEST LANGUAGE . IN THE PRESENT TIME , THERE ARE IN NUMBER OF OPPORTUNITIES THAT HELP DEVELOP YOUR PERSONALITY IF YOU KNOW FRENCH LANGUAGE.

BASICALLY HAVING THE KNOWLEDGE OF ANY OTHER FOREIGN LANGUAGE, APART FROM ENGLISH , LETS YOU LEAVE AN EVERLASTING IMPACT ON THE OTHER PERSON .

WE , AT BSL , ARE HERE TO LET YOU LEARN THIS LANGUAGE IN THE EASIEST POSSIBLE MANNER , AS THE TRAINER , HERSELF IS A CITIZEN OF FRANCE .

BEST GUIDANCE BY THE BEST TRAINER , IS ALL THAT WE AIM TO PROVIDE YOU .

SO , ITS TIME FOR YOU ALL TO LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE WITH BEST AMENITIES .

FRENCH CLASSES ARE BEING LAUNCHED  ON A RITE WAY. RUSH YOU

RSELF TO BE A PART OF BSL ONCE AND SEE THE TRANSPARENCY OF YOUR OWN.

GET READY TO BE A PART OF FRENCH CLASSES FROM APRIL MID AND GET A NEW CONFIDENCE

FRENCH LANGUAGE IN THE WORLD

French (le français or la langue française) is the language of Rome of Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Roman languages. French has evolved from Gallo-Romance, the spoken Latin in Gaul, and more specifically in Northern Gaul. Its closest relatives are the other langues d’oïl—languages historically spoken in northern France and in southern Belgium, which French (Francien) has largely supplanted. French was also influenced by native Celtic languages of Northern Roman Gaul like Gallia Belgica and by the (Germanic) Frankish language of the post-Roman Frankish invaders. Today, owing to France’s past overseas expansion, there are numerous French-based creole languages, most notably Haitian Creole. A French-speaking person or nation may be referred to as “Francophone” in both English and French.

French is an official language in 29 countries, most of which are members of la francophonie, the community of French-speaking countries. It is spoken as a first language (in descending order of the highest number) in France, the Canadian province of Quebec, the region of Wallonia in Belgium, western Switzerland, Monaco, certain other regions of Canada and the United States, and by various communities elsewhere. As of 2015, 40% of the francophone population (including L2 and partial speakers) is in Europe, 35% in sub-Saharan Africa, 15% in North Africa and the Middle East, 8% in the Americas, and 1% in Asia and Oceania.

 

French is the second-most widely spoken mother tongue in the European Union. 1/5 of Europeans who do not have French as a mother tongue speak French as a second language.

As a result of French and Belgian colonialism from the 17th and 18th century onward, French was introduced to new territories in the Americas, Africa and Asia. Most second-language speakers reside in Francophone Africa, in particular Gabon, Algeria, Mauritius, Senegal and Ivory Coast. In 2015, French was estimated to have 77 to 110 million native speakers, and 190 million secondary speakers. Approximately 274 million people are able to speak the language.According to a demographic projection led by the Université Laval and the Réseau Démographie de l’Agence universitaire de la francophonie, total French speakers will number approximately 500 million people in 2025 and 650 million people by 2050. The Organisation internationale de la Francophonie estimates 700 million by 2050, 80% of whom will be in Africa.

French has a long history as an international language of commerce, diplomacy, literature, and scientific standards and is an official language of many international organisations including the United Nations, the European Union, NATO, the WTO, the International Olympic Committee, and the ICRC. In 2011, Bloomberg Businessweek ranked French the third most useful language for business, after English and Standard Mandarin Chinese.

French culture : customs and traditions

Most people associate French culture with Paris, which is a center of fashion, cuisine, art and architecture, but life outside City of Lights is very different and varies by region.

France doesn’t just have different cultures; the word “culture” actually comes from France. “‘Culture’ derives from the same French term, which in turn derives from the Latin colere, meaning to tend to the earth and grow, cultivation and nurture,” Cristina De Rossi, an anthropologist at Barnet and Southgate College in London, told Live Science.

Historically, French culture was influenced by Celtic and Gallo-Roman cultures as well as the Franks, a Germanic tribe. France was initially defined as the western area of Germany known as Rhineland but it later came to refer to a territory that was known as Gaul during the Iron Age and Roman era.

Languages

French is the dominant language of the country’s 66 million residents, but there are a number of variants based on region. French, the official language, is the first language of 88 percent of the population, according to the BBC. French is the second most widely learned foreign language in the world, with almost 120 million students, according to the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development.

About 3 percent of the population speaks German and there is a small group of Flemish speakers in the northeast, according to the BBC. Arabic is the third-largest minority language.

Those living near the border of Italy may speak Italian as a second language, and Basque is spoken by people living along the French-Spanish border.

Other dialects and languages include Catalan, Breton (the Celtic language), Occitan dialects, and languages from the former French colonies, including Kabyle and Antillean Creole.

Religion

Catholicism is the predominant religion of France. In a survey by the French Institute of Public Opinion (IFOP), 64 percent of the population (about 41.6 million people) identified themselves as Roman Catholic. According to a 2010 survey by the Pew Research Center, 7.5 percent (4.7 million people) are Muslim. Pew estimated that the Jewish population was 310,000; there were 280,000 Buddhists and 30,000 Hindus. Nearly 18 million people practiced folk religions, “other” religions or no religion (“unaffiliated”).

Values

The French take immense and great pride in their nation and government and are typically offended by any negative comments about their country. Visitors, particularly Americans, often interpret their attitude toward foreigners as rude.

The expression “chauvinism” — meaning an attitude that members of your own gender are always better than those of the opposite sex, or a belief that your country, race, etc., is better than any others — originated in France around 1851, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. While women are playing a greater role in family life and business, many still see it as a male-dominated culture.

The French embody romance and passion, and there is an open attitude toward sex outside of marriage, according to a study by France’s National Research Agency on AIDS. Even the country’s top politicians have been known to carry out extramarital affairs without making an effort to conceal them. As a reflection of the country’s secular nature, about half of children are born to unmarried couples.

“From around the 16th century, in Europe, culture became a term for the cultivation of the mind, the intellect, knowledge, learning, creative faculties and acceptable ways of behaving,” said De Rossi. The French embrace style and sophistication and take pride in the fact that even their public spaces strike a regal tone.

The French believe in égalité, which means equality, and is a part of the country’s motto: “Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité.” Many say they place a higher importance on equality than liberty and fraternity, the other two words in the motto.

A traditional French dish is coq au vin — chicken in Burgundy wine, lardons (small strips or cubes of pork fat), button mushrooms, onions and garlic.

French cuisine

Food and wine are central to life at all socioeconomic levels, and much socializing is done around lengthy dinners.

While cooking styles have changed to emphasize lighter fare, many still associate French cooking with heavy sauces and complicated preparation. Some classic French dishes include boeuf bourguignon — a stew made of beef braised in red wine, beef broth and seasoned with garlic, onions and mushrooms — and coq au vin, a dish made with chicken, Burgundy wine, lardons (small strips or cubes of pork fat), button mushrooms, onions and optional garlic.

Currently, traditional French cooking is on the decline. Seventy percent of the restaurants in France are using prepared meals instead of fresh cuisine that is a cornerstone of the culture, according to the New York Times.

Clothing

Paris is known as the home to many high-end fashion houses, such as Dior, Hermes, Louis Vuitton and Chanel. Many French people dress in a sophisticated, professional and fashionable style, but it is not overly fussy. Typical outfits include nice dresses, suits, long coats, scarves and berets.

The term haute couture is associated with French fashion and loosely means fancier garments that are handmade or made to order. In France, the term is protected by law and is defined by the Paris Chamber of Commerce, according to Eva Domjian, a London-based fashion writer and editor. Domjian writes on her blog:

“To earn the right to call itself a couture house and to use the term haute couture in its advertising and any other way, a fashion house must follow these rules:

  1. Design made-to-order for private clients, with one or more fittings.
  2. Have a workshop (atelier) in Paris that employs at least fifteen people full-time.
  3. Each season (i.e. twice a year) present a collection to the Paris press, comprising at least thirty-five runs/exits with outfits for both daytime and evening wear.”

French art

Art is everywhere in France — particularly in Paris and other major cities — and Gothic, Romanesque Rococo and Neoclassic influences can be seen in many churches and other public buildings.

Many of history’s most renowned artists, including Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, and Camille Pissarro, sought inspiration in Paris, and they gave rise to the Impressionism movement.

The Louvre Museum in Paris is among the world’s largest museums and is home to many famous works of art, including the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo.

Holidays and celebrations

The French celebrate the traditional Christian holidays of Christmas and Easter. They mark May Day, also known as Labor Day, on May 1. Victory in Europe Day on May 8 commemorates the end of hostilities in Europe in World War II. Bastille Day is celebrated on July 14. This is the day the Bastille fortress in Paris was stormed by revolutionaries to start the French Revolution.

French levels of CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference)

Beginner A1 Can recognise and use familiar words and simple phrases for concrete purposes. Can introduce themselves or someone else. Can ask and answer basic questions about home, family, surroundings, etc. Can communicate in a basic way when the other person speaks slowly and clearly, and is ready to repeat or reformulate to help communication.
Elementary A2 Can understand isolated phrases and common expressions that relate to areas of high personal relevance (like personal or family information, shopping, immediate environment, work). Can communicate during easy or habitual tasks requiring a basic and direct information exchange on familiar subjects. Using simple words, can describe his or her surroundings and communicate immediate needs.
Intermediate B1 Can understand the main points of clear standard speech on familiar subjects in work, school, leisure activities, etc. Can manage in most situations that come up when travelling in a region where the language is spoken. Can produce a simple and cohesive text on familiar subjects or subjects of personal interest. Can narrate an event, an experience or a dream; describe a desire or goal, and outline reasons or explanations behind a project or idea.
Upper Intermediate B2 Can understand the main ideas of concrete or abstract topics in a complex text, including a technical article in the user’s area of expertise. Can communicate with a degree of spontaneity and fluency during a conversation with a native speaker, in a way that is comfortable for everyone. Can speak in a clear, detailed way on a number of subjects; express an opinion on current affairs, giving the advantages and disadvantages of the various options.
Advanced C1 Can understand a wide range of long and complex texts, including any subtextual or stylistic nuances. Can express him or herself freely and fluidly, without obviously fumbling for words. Can use the language effectively and fluently in a social, professional or academic context. Can speak in a clear, organised way about complex subjects, developing a well-structured argument.
Master or Proficient C2 Can effortlessly understand almost everything he or she reads or hears. Capable of a coherent summary of events or arguments from oral or written sources. Can express him or herself precisely in a spontaneous, fluent way, conveying

10 good reasons for learning French

  1. A world language

More than 220 million people speak French on the five continents. The OIF, an international organisation of French-speaking countries, comprises 77 member States and governments. French is the second most widely learned foreign language after English, and the sixth most widely spoken language in the world.

French is also the only language, alongside English, that is taught in every country in the world. France operates the biggest international network of cultural institutes, which run French-language courses for close on a million learners.

  1. A language for the job market

The ability to speak French and English is an advantage on the international job market. A knowledge of French opens the doors of French companies in France and other French-speaking parts of the world (Canada, Switzerland, Belgium, and the continent of Africa). As the world’s fifth biggest economy and third-ranking destination for foreign investment, France is an economic partner.

  1. The language of culture

French is the international language of cooking, fashion, theatre, the visual arts, dance and architecture. A knowledge of French offers access to great works of literature in the original French, as well as films and songs. French is the language of Victor Hugo, Molière, Léopold Sendar Senghor, Edith Piaf, Jean-Paul Sartre, Alain Delon and Zinedine Zidane.

  1. A language for travel

France is the world’s top tourist destination and attracts more than 79,5 million visitors a year. The ability to speak even a little French makes it so much more enjoyable to visit Paris and all the regions of France (from the mild climes of the Cote d’Azur to the snow-capped peaks of the Alps via the rugged coastline of Brittany) and offers insights into French culture, mentality and way of life. French also comes in handy when travelling to Africa, Switzerland, Canada, Monaco, the Seychelles and other places.

  1. A language for higher education

Speaking French opens up study opportunities at renowned French universities and business schools, ranked among the top higher education institutions in Europe and the world. Students with a good level of French are eligible for French government and it grants to enroll in postgraduate courses in France in the discipline of their choice and qualify for internationally recognised degrees.

  1. The other language of international relations

French is both a working language and an official language of the United Nations, the European Union, UNESCO, NATO, the International Olympic Committee, the International Red Cross and international courts. French is the language of the three cities where the EU institutions are headquartered: Strasbourg, Brussels and Luxembourg.

  1. A language that opens up the world

After English and German, French is the third most widely used language on the Internet, ahead of Spanish. An ability to understand French offers an alternative view of the world through communication with French speakers from all over the world and news from the leading French-language international media (TV5, France 24 and Radio France Internationale).

  1. A language that is fun to learn

French is an easy language to learn. There are many methods on the market that make learning French enjoyable for children and adults alike. It does not take long to reach a level where you can communicate in French.

  1. A language for learning other languages

French is a good base for learning other languages, especially Roman languages (Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Romanian) as well as English, since fifty per cent of current English vocabulary is derived from French.

  1. The language of love and reason

First and foremost, learning French is the pleasure of  learning a beautiful, rich, melodious language, often called the language of love. French is also an analytical language that structures thought and develops critical thinking, which is a valuable skill for discussions and negotiations

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS + ANSWERS

Is french language difficult to learn AND how long will it take?

The most common response I receive upon telling someone that is learning French to someone who is starting to learn it —from English and French speakers alike—is something along the lines of, “French is so hard! I can’t believe you can speak like this after only three months!” Yes 3 to 6 months  to be abe to speak French fluently.

This exclamation is typically followed by exasperated hand writing over the difficulty of the pronunciation, seemingly endless list of exceptions to every grammar rule, the conjugations, and so on. As a french native and for the fact i actually used to teach french language, I’d like to dispel, once-and-for-all, the (surprisingly) pervasive notion that French is somehow impossibly difficult to learn. Spoiler alert: it’s not.

Vocabulary

Any discussion of why French is not difficult for English speakers ought to begin with the date September 28, 1066, which is the date the Norman conquest of England when it began.

During the four hundred years that followed, a dialect of French known as Anglo-Norman became the language of the crown, the educated elite, the ruling administration and the justice. Even today, the Queen’s assent, which must be given to legislation passed by parliament in order to become law, is still issued in French. How cool is that!

Nerdy historical tangents aside, what does any of this have to do with learning French nowadays? Linguists estimate that about a third of English words are derived from French, meaning that, as an English speaker, even before you crack open a phrasebook for the very first time, you have a ready-made vocabulary that you can start using from day one. Do you have six hours to spare? Great—have a crack at this Wikipedia list of shared vocabulary. Second spoiler alert: it’s long.

From a practical standpoint, I’ve found that anytime students wander their thoughts for the right French vocabulary, coating an English word in a heavy French accent is a surprisingly effective strategy. I remember during my first times teaching French class, students were trying to say that a certain French word exists in English but has a different meaning.

They did not know the word for “meaning” in French, so they said the English word “connotation” with a thick French accent. They paused and studied me coyly, waiting for me to correct them. I looked at them expectantly as if to say, “Well, duh! Connotation! Everyone knows connotation!”

You’ll notice that many other “tion” words appear in French almost exactly as they do in English, especially British English, which never replaced the “s” in words like réalisation with a “z” as we’ve done in American English.

The circumflex you find in many words usually signifies that an “s” used to be present but has since fallen out of use. Thus, words like hôpital and forêt translate to “hospital” and “forest” in English. There are many more tricks like these, and though they can’t always be perfectly applied, these examples should give you a sense of just how much linguistic history the two languages have in common.

Pronunciation

Okay, so perhaps you’re thinking that, yes, you realize that English and French have many words in common, but there’s no way you’re ever going to be able to master that perfect accent your fantasy French husband/girlfriend/whatever has. Ah, but not so fast!

Along with many of the French words that migrated into English came vestiges of their former pronunciations. Consider words and expressions like montage, jà vu, bourgeois, comprise, brochure, filet mignon, chauffeur, lingerie, and encore. Without knowing it, you actually use many of the sounds found in French regularly.

Still others can give you clues as to what you shouldn’t pronounce, including faux pas, buffet, coup, and laissez-faire. Even the dreaded liaison rears its ugly head in the words vis-à-vis (pronounced “vee-zah-vee”) and bon appétit (pronounced “baw na-pey-tee”).

Now I’ll admit that the French “r” and nasal sounds will probably take some practice and getting used to, but the best advice I received—from my Lonely Planet phrasebook, nonetheless—was just to go for the most stereotypical French accent I possibly could. Try it—it actually works!

Conjugation

One of the most common complaints among French learners is seemingly the incomprehensibility of verb conjugations. Consider the forms of the verb manger (meaning “to eat”) below:

First Person Singular: Je mange (“I eat”)

Second Person Singular: Tu manges (“You eat”)

Third Person Singular: Il/Elle/On mange (“He/She/One eats”)

First Person Plural: Nous mangeons (“We eat”)

Second Person Plural: Vous mangez (“You (pl.) eat”)

Third Person Plural: Ils/Elles mangent (“They eat”)

Did you survive that with your sanity intact? Great! It may look like a lot to wrap your head around, but it’s actually not, especially in spoken French. In fact, the difference between written and spoken French is so vast that the first person singular, second person singular, third person singular, and third person plural forms of the verb manger are pronounced exactly the same despite having written forms that appear to vary substantially.

Add to that the fact that the third person singular On form is usually used in place of the first person plural, and you don’t even have to think about changing the pronunciation for the majority of verb forms in the present indicative.

The group of verbs that manger belongs to, the –er verbs, is one of three, the other two being –ir and –re verbs. The –er verbs are completely regular, the –ir verbs are mostly regular, and the –re verbs are mostly irregular.

Don’t let the third “irregular” group scare you, though. Not only does it comprise the smallest of the three groups, it’s also considered to be a “closed-class,” meaning that all new verbs introduced into the French language are of the first two “regular” classes.

Thus, new words like googliser, textoter, and téléviser take the regular forms. Even among the irregular verbs, you’ll be able to pick on patterns that make their conjugations fairly predictable. Also remember that, as was the case with the –er verbs, the verb forms of the irregular verbs are pronounced mostly the same, though there are some exceptions.

Tenses

As for the other tenses, anyone who’s learned Spanish will be relieved to find out that there are fewer tenses in French than in Spanish. In modern French, for example, the most frequently used past-tense construction is the passé composé, a compound tense composed of the verb avoir (meaning “to have”) or être (meaning “to be”) followed by the past participle of the conjugated verb.

In the passé composé, the first person singular form of manger is J’ai mangé, which literally translates to “I have eaten,” but it is also used to say “I ate.” Unlike English or Spanish, French uses the same tense to express both concepts. There is a passé simple, but it’s an antiquated literary tense that is seldom used in contemporary spoken French.

French also uses an imperfect tense—the imparfait—which has only one set of endings (unlike Spanish), contains only one exception (être, meaning “to be”), and is used in exactly the same way as the Spanish imperfect. In order to form the imparfait, take the present indicative Nous form of a verb, slice off the conjugated ending, add the imparfait ending, and voilà! You’re in business.

There’s the futur proche, which is extremely familiar to English and Spanish speakers. It simply combines the conjugated form of the verb aller, meaning “to go,” with an infinitive. It’s equivalent to saying in English, “I am going to [BLANK].” There’s also a futur simple that, like the imparfait, uses only one set of endings that are added to the “future stem,” which is usually just the infinitive or, for the irregular verbs, the infinitive with the final “e” chopped off.

There are about two-dozen irregular future stems, but these irregular stems also double as the stems for the conditional, which is formed by adding the imparfait endings you already know to the future stem. This might all sound confusing, but the main point is that these verb forms and moods are constructed using things you already know. The more you learn, the more your knowledge builds on itself.

The Dreaded Subjunctive

Its almost exclusively follows que or qui, which is less often the case in Spanish. For instance, the following phrases in English, Spanish, and French:

English: If I were you, I would be happy.

Español: Si yo fuera tú, sería feliz

Français: Si j’étais toi, je serais heureux

Take a look at the two verbs in bold for a moment. Whereas the Spanish version uses the imperfect subjunctive, the French phrase uses the imperfect indicative (standard past tense use of the word, like English) to express the exact same idea. In French, the imperfect subjunctive is a stodgy literary a tense that nobody uses anymore!

Just Go SPEAK IT

There are, of course, plenty of quirks and exceptions in the French language, as there are in any language, but the key is, as always, is just to go out and SPEAK IT!

Native speakers won’t be shy about correcting you, and the more you speak and adjust, the more natural it will become. Don’t worry if your pronunciation is a little off, or if you forget how to conjugate such a verb, or if you forget which preposition to use. Just remember: everyone starts off speaking any language they start from scratch as a child.