French Language: Baguette vs Reality
“Baguette, Paris, c’est la vie, j’adore la France!”, “Montmatre, le Louuuvre, le fromage, comme ci comme ca… “ Those are the word sand expressions that I keep hearing all the time from foreigners. But the French language is way more than that.
Let’s go back really briefly in history. French was born 2000 years ago before JC in La Gaule known now as France. The French language derives from the Celtic, Latine and Greek languages. In the 9th century, different dialects started to emerge in France but it is only in the 13th century that a specific language has appeared. Over the centuries, the name of the language as evolved from Francien (middle age period) to Francois (13th) and finally Francais during the 15th century.
Nowadays, the French language contains more than 33 different sounds, 140 ways to write them with only 23 letters … And rumours have it that to be considered fluent in French you are supposed to know 500 different grammar rules. No worries, I am French, I studied Literature in High-school and I may know 50 of them…
But the real question here is, why French sounds so poetic and why should you learn it?
- The harmony of the sounds. One of the mysterious 500 rules of grammar explains it avoids using words that end with a vowel sound before words that begin with one. Either the vowel is silent or consonant sounds are placed in between so that the words can flow into each other. And now everything makes sense to you.
- Fun French accent marks. There are a few times in English you get to use accent marks. In fact, most of the time you can, it’s because it’s actually a French word like “cliché” or “naïve.” You can also look so boogie saying “facacade”, “un je ne sais quoi”, “rendez-vous” and “et voila!”
- The impossibility of capturing the definition of some expressions. The perfect example would be the sentence “l’appel du vide.” This expression could be translated to “the call of the void” and it refers to the feeling some people get when looking down from tall heights where they feel the urge to jump. Whereas in French it does not mean the same thing at all but there is no perfect translation in English or other languages to tell you what it means in French… Curieux n’est-ce pas?
- The slang words (obviously !) “Putain”, “Merde” “Nique ta mere la pute”, “Fait chier”, “Va te faire foutre”… An American girl told me one day that “Va te faire foutre” looked like the name of a flower… That’s the poetry of the French language I guess.
- The elusive pronunciation of the “R”. The hardest sound for Anglophone to pronounce has got to be “r.” You can practice it over and over again and to a French person, it will still sound like you just swallowed a bug or you’re choking on a stale baguette. But when you finally do nail that sound, be proud!
- You will look elegant and smart.
So, now that you are convinced that French is one of the most beautiful and stylish languages in the world, go check out our 1-2-1 French classes online. Also, we offer a large range of possibilities for you to learn French in four different cities in France (Rien que ca!): Paris (ville lumiere), Nice (there is the beach), Rouen (the city of the 100 tower bells) and Montpellier (where it never snows). Hola People finds accommodation for you and provides different types of French classes at schools or University.
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