Easy Hacks to Improve Your French
When learning a new language, your mission is to immerse yourself in the vocabulary and the grammar until you get a good enough grasp. Obviously, the best way to immerse yourself in a language is to spend several months in a country that speaks that language, but this is not so easy to do. Fortunately, there are several other ways to increase your practice by incorporating this new language into your daily life.
1. Make the most of translation apps
Whenever you have questions about a word, don't hesitate to pull out your phone and look up the translation of the word. Ideally, write it down in a special notebook that you will read from time to time. If it’s a word you searched, it means it’s a word that is somehow relevant to your daily life. This translating process develops a habit of thinking in your new language. It can be a very useful step as you try to speak more fluently.
2. Find restaurants related to your new language.
We dream of spending several months in France to learn French, but it's not easy to put our lives on pause to live the Parisian life.
An alternative might be to find a French restaurant in your neighborhood: chances are that some of the staff members are French-speaking. You can get into the habit of interacting directly with them in French. They will appreciate your efforts to learn the language. If they are homesick, they will gladly answer in their native language. Alternatively, if you live in the Northeast, Montréal is always a nice option for a French-infused weekend!
3. Play a foreign radio on in the background
Are you washing dishes, cooking or putting away groceries on a daily basis? I bet you are. To make it more fun, put on a foreign radio show in the background. The goal is not so much to understand what is being said, but to get used to hearing the intonation of the language you are learning. Indeed, this is often the most difficult part, sometimes even more so than pronunciation.
4. Don't be afraid to act out the language!
Using short dialogues on YouTube, get used to repeating full sentences. Don't be afraid to overdo the intonation and pronunciation at first. This is often the best way to memorize idiomatic expressions, which you can then easily use in your own conversations. We regularly meet students who learned ready-made expressions years ago, and know how to use them perfectly, often with an impressive pronunciation. Their secret? Memorized dialogues!