How can I speak French fluently?
7 ways you can improve your French quickly and easily
With around 100 million native speakers and nearly 300 million people speaking French as a second language, French is now one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. It's also one of the most popular languages that students want to learn as a second foreign language, and experts believe the total number of French speakers could soon hit the 500 million mark.
Learning French can improve your career prospects and travel plans, and help you broaden your horizons. Lingoda students have already achieved great things! At this point, we'd like to look at seven ways you can improve your French quickly and easily, so that you can get a few steps closer to becoming truly fluent.
1. Listen to French radio stations
One of the most effective ways to improve your understanding of the French language and better appreciate French culture is to listen to radio stations broadcast in the language. Fortunately, in the age of the Internet, this is easier than ever as you can receive most major radio stations online.
Whether you're listening to French news or political programs, tune in to a sports commentary or even listening to French music, words, phrases and dialects used by real native speakers will become more and more familiar to you. Below we've put together links to some of the country's most popular radio stations:
- France Inter - General radio station with music, news reports and entertaining conversation segments.
- Le Mouv’ - Pop music station with new music, which mainly wants to appeal to a younger target group.
- Europe 1 - Private radio station broadcasting news reports, book reviews, political interviews and music.
2. Read French websites and newspapers
While hearing the language is important, reading French frequently is also a good idea to improve your reading comprehension. The easiest way to do this is to read French websites and newspapers regularly. Five of the main French newspapers and their websites are listed below:
- L’Express - The most widely distributed newspaper in France with a conservative orientation.
- Le Monde - National newspaper and the most popular left-wing paper in France.
- La Tribune Internationale - A politically moderate newspaper with a slightly smaller circulation.
- L’Équipe - Daily newspaper entirely dedicated to sport, with a strong focus on football, cycling and rugby.
- Charlie Hebdo - Controversial, left wing satirical magazine, published weekly.
3. Follow French sites and accounts on social media
Social media has made it easier than ever to interact with people from all over the world. So you can improve your French by following some French accounts on these pages. Try to 'like' French pages that caught your eye on Facebook, or 'follow' French-speaking celebrities or sources on Twitter.
To help you, we suggest that you ‘follow’ a popular French musician like David Guetta on Twitter and like ’a popular French sports team like Paris Saint-Germain on Facebook. It's also worth checking out social media channels from some of the largest newspapers or television stations in the country.
4. Change the language on your device to French
In the course of an ordinary day, you are likely to use a variety of devices, such as cell phones, laptops, desktops, tablets, and e-book readers. A simple trick you can use to force yourself to use French more often is to change the language settings on one or more of these devices.
By changing the language to French, your menus, instructions, and on-screen displays will also appear in French. If you already know how your device works, it should be fairly easy to get used to, and you should be able to understand any words you didn't know by referring to what you read there before.
5. Subscribe to French podcasts
Much like listening to the radio, subscribing to French podcasts is an excellent way to improve your language skills as it will help you become familiar with everyday vocabulary. One of the benefits of podcasts is the ability to find topics that interest you and listen to them whenever you want, even when you're on the go.
While there is a huge selection of French podcasts, the most popular are:
- Le Masque et la Plume - A one-hour Radio France show where critics review films, plays and books.
- La Marche de l’Histoire - History podcast, which covers a different topic in each episode.
- 56Cast - Weekly podcast covering the very latest news from the digital world.
6. Watch French films
Another option is to watch films in the French language. In fact, some of the most popular films of the last 20 years have been made in French and these can be viewed with or without English subtitles depending on your current language level. Examples of French films are "Amélie" and "Blue is a warm color".
Of course, you don't just have to resort to films made in French. Many of your favorite DVDs and streaming services give you the option to change the language to French so that you can watch movies you already know with French voice overs.
7. Book a 'Pro' or 'Premium' package with Lingoda
Last but not least, enrolling in Lingoda's online language school and booking a 'Pro' or 'Premium' package can be an important step towards improving your understanding of the French language. These packages are extensive and affordable, and all lessons are taught by qualified native speakers.
Our most popular package, the ‘Pro’ package, consists of 15 group and two private lessons, so you can have lessons on your own as well as interact with other students. And you can also put together your own learning plan and you can get an officially recognized GERS certificate after completing a level.
Our ‘Premium’ offer is the most complete package of all bookable options, it offers 30 group and three private lessons as well as all the other advantages of the ‘Pro’ package. This offer also represents the highest value per hour with a 16% discount. Click here to learn more.
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