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French/ ENGLISH COGNATES

Have you ever heard of a Cognate?  Chances are you already know them without realizing they had a name.  

These are words that share the same origin and have the same meaning across different languages.  The dictionary defines Cognates as: “allied or similar in nature or quality”.  When learning a new language and come across a cognate; this can help point to similarity, of meaning and help you better understand the word’s meaning.  

readme Sometimes there are slight variances between languages, but the variances can be minimal or so different that the similarity can be missed if you are not vigilant. — Hey! that’s an English/French cognate, “vigilant”.  Most languages that share the same root as in Latin or Greek will share the same words which can be spelt differently, but you’d have a hard time not connecting them.  Even languages that do not share the same roots can have cognates because of conquest, trade partnership or colonialism.

Cognate French/English glossary

Here are a few terms to increase your familiarity with French/English cognates.

English French
absolutely absolument
abundance abondance
accentuate accentuer
accident accident
acrobatic acrobatique
activity activités
actor acteur
address adresse
allergic allergique
appetite appétit
arrogance arrogance
artist artiste
banana banane
battery batterie
bicycle bicyclette
brutal brutal
cabin cabine
cafeteria cafétéria
capitain capitaine
ceremony cérémonie
coast côte
color couleur
common commun
curious curieux
magnificent magnifique
medal médaille
memory mémoire
naturally naturellement
ordinary ordinaire
October octobre
photograph photographie
restaurant restaurant
rock roche
salary salire
solid solide
stomach estomac
testimony témoignage
totally totalement
urgent urgence
venomous venimeux

 

In Conclusion

As you can see, there are quite a few, and the above is just a brief glossary of the many cognates that exist between French and English.  Some of you will notice barely a difference between them, like “October” that becomes “octobre” in French, while others will need a discerning eye to see the similarities, like “January” that becomes “janvier”.  

out site Notice in both example that English capitalizes the first letter for a proper noun and French doesn’t. There are, of course, words that are exactly the same in both languages but do not remotely mean the same things – like “bras” in English that is a diminutive of “brassier” but “bras” in French means “arm”.

It can be fun to pick up literature in a Latin/Greek based language and try to pick out the cognates and try to decipher the meaning of the sentence.

Next time you are speaking to your tutor on the Adapt2me platform, challenge him/her to a cognate contest?

So let’s have some fun!  Below is a list of English and French cognates.  Why don’t you fill in the missing cognate in either language?  Type your answers in the comments section below.

 

décembre
diamant
dictionary
docteur
enormous
exactly
féroce
garden
history histoire
immigrant immigrant
island
lemon
lentille
January janvier

Challenge us by posting your own examples of cognates that will stump us.

No Comments | 29 June, 2016

Important Differences Between French & English

There are some differences between French and English that can be challenging to learn.

out site  The most obvious are English phonetic sounds that use different muscles than those used to speak French.  This is the case, even though those two languages share several grammatical features and cognates.

Phonology

There are sounds used by Anglophones that can cause a Francophone some anxiety and enunciation problems that can lead to a lack of understanding and spelling errors.  A typical pronunciation problem is the inability to correctly articulate the vowel sounds in minimal pairs such as; to/two//too, live/leave, prey/pray, ship/sheep, full/fool, there/their/they’re – these words are called ‘Homophones’.  Too often homophones and homonyms are confused depending on whom you ask.  

Then, there are the homographs, which are words that have the same spelling but mean totally different things and can have different pronunciation.  Lead the metal and lead the action of being in front is an example; bass the low sound and bass the fish is another.

Alphabet

Although both languages have 26 letters in their alphabet, the French language has some letters with diacritics (these are words with accents).  These accents are meant to point to the different enunciation of that vowel.  Another common mistake, which I often make, is to confuse J for G, and E for I when someone is spelling out a word.

Another typical problem for a Francophone, which is often used to imitate and mock a Francophone, is the inability to pronounce the H sound in some words – that’s because French speakers do not use their tongue in the same manner as English speakers so that ‘heard’ becomes ‘eard’ and ‘Harry’ becomes ‘arry’ and ‘the’ becomes ‘de’.

Grammar – Verb/Tense

French and English verb grammar have several areas of overlap. For example, both languages have auxiliaries, participles, active/passive voice, past/present/future tenses. However, there are some differences that can cause interference in the production of English.

A typical problem is the wrong choice of tense. Despite the external similarities of verb grammar, there are frequent occasions when French uses a different tense than English to convey a particular meaning.

Some common examples are the following faulty sentences:

  • I have played hockey yesterday.  [I played hockey yesterday]
  • I can’t play now. I do my homework.  [I can’t play now. I am doing my homework.]
  • I live in Montréal since last year.  [I have lived in Montreal since last year.]
  • I will tell you as soon as I will know.  [I will tell you as soon as I know.]

buy it Because French does not use the auxiliary ‘do’, learners may have problems in asking questions. For example, they may simply make a statement and use question intonation: He is handsome? Or they may invert subject and verb: How often see you her?

Grammar – Other

Although English and French share the same basic Subject-Verb-Object syntax, there are numerous variations in the word order of sentences that are more complicated than the simple ‘I bought a new car’ type.

Here are a few common errors:

  • I play sometimes games.  [I sometimes play games.]
  • I have too much eat!  [I had too much to eat!]
  • Do you know what is the time?  [Do you know what time it is?]

The biggest difference is related to gender assignment to nouns that always stumps non-Francophones.  Whether a chair is feminine (la chaise) or masculine, and if feminine, then why is a couch masculine (le sofa)?  Or if a street is feminine (la rue), then why is the highway masculine (l’autoroute)?

Vocabulary

A large number of words in the two languages have the same Latin root and are mutually comprehensible – although this applies more to academic/technical words than to everyday vocabulary. The concomitant problem, however, is the significant number of false connections. Here are just a few examples. The French word is listed first, followed by the correct English equivalent: cave / cellar; sensible / sensitive; ignorer / not know.

Two excellent web sources for phonological information are:

  • Non-native pronunciations of English on Answers.com.
  • The Speech Accent Archive

Talk to your Adapt2me tutor about homophones and make it a game to come up with a list of your own.

No Comments | 29 June, 2016

Language Learning Trends

Here are two predictions:

1. The number of languages spoken by Canadians will increase as immigration trends continue to rise.2. English and French will continue to dominate as the primary languages in Canada, but in certain sections of the country, Asian and Arabic languages will become prominent as population density from immigration rises.

Language Learning Trends in 2016 and beyond

out site English will become one of the top five non-native languages being learned by new Canadians in 2020.  Chinese/Mandarin will join Arabic, Urdu, Farsi, and Spanish  as one of the five most popular non-native languages for Canadians to learn and there will be a double-digit increase in K-12 classrooms using language learning technology.   A confirmation for this trend comes from Rosetta Stone rival Duolingo.

Rosetta Stone also predicts that this year people will use more mobile devices than desktops or laptops to learn a language, which is a trend we can already see in Asia and among learners who use competing services like Adapt2me.

Which Languages will be left in 2115

What will the global language space look like 100 years from now?

Dr. McWhorter, who teaches linguistics, American Studies, philosophy and music at Columbia University, wrote a commendable essay last week.

readme He predicts that in 2115 the landscape will have radically changed but that English will remain lingua franca. From the 6000 languages that are currently spoken only, 600 will survive. A lot of those remaining languages will be dialects of more widely spoken languages like English.

The remaining languages will also be simplified with less complicated grammar and less vocabulary.  The latter will be driven by third wave of language “streamlining” that takes place among immigrant communities in cities around the globe.

Today language learning technology is once again on the upswing, powered by mobile devices as well as better broadband and mobile coverage. This leads to the following five key trends in language learning we see for the coming years.

Mobile

Mobile is the rocket fuel for the new wave of language learning products. Smartphones and mobile Internet made it possible to add bite-sized lessons and learning sprints to the daily routine of commuters. From serious approaches based on curated web content, mobile is THE learning environment to conquer in the language space.

Personalised and Adaptive

One-size-fits-all educational content for language learning will become a thing of the past. Learners today want content tailored to their interest and needs.

Another important factor is adaptiveness when it comes to the learning path. Language learners are not alike; they have different levels at the start and will continue to learn differently throughout the program. Therefore, language learning products need to adapt to the progress of each individual learner, from reinforcing and strengthening weak points to accelerating through topics that are known already or mastered quickly.

Constant Feedback

Learners want to know where they are on their learning path at any moment, not at the end of the month or after they have completed a test or exam.

Language learning startups, like us, Adapt2me for instance, that implement a learning path into their products early on make it easy for learners to visualise their current level.

Faster Results

Based on personalised learning content, an adaptive learning path and constant feedback, language learners will expect faster results. Overall, our society is being constantly trained for instant gratification thanks to Google, Amazon and other web services that get us answers, solutions, or services right away.

At Adapt2me, we are working on language learning content that will lead users through their learning path the most efficient way.

Live and On-Demand

Yes, live lessons will also make a comeback in the language learning space. The difference today is that both technology and infrastructure can handle video and audio connections between tutors and students with ease. And with more and more tutors coming online and searching for ways to earn money teaching languages, the problem of scaling a 24/7 live lesson service will find resolution down the line, as well.

These impromptu sessions will most likely last 30 minutes. I doubt that learners will schedule an entire tutoring session spontaneously, as such a setting requires preparation from both sides. On-demand sessions work well for Q&A and quick help on a specific problem, which could be an interesting service or additional feature for test and exam prep.

If you want to be with the language learning trends, register for your free trial at adapt2me.com today.

No Comments | 08 June, 2016

Romantic phrases to say in French !

According to multiple worldwide surveys French ranked number one as the most romantic language in the world.

Valentine’s day is today. Here is is a list of 10 Romantic phrases you can say in French to impress your date 😉

1. Je t’aime – I love you

2. Tu veux m’épouser ? – Do you want to marry me ?

3. Tu es la femme de mes rêves ! – You are the woman of my dreams !

4. Tu as de beaux yeux – You have beautiful eyes.

5. J’adore ton sourire – I love your smile.

6. Tu es l’amour de ma vie – You’re the love of my life.

7. Tu es très jolie – You’re gorgeous.

8. Tu es mignon – You’re cute.

9. Je veux être avec toi – I want to be with you.

10. J’ai envie de t’embrasser – I want to kiss you.

Don’t forget to practice your pronunciation.

Book a quick 30 minute session with one of tutor through our tutoring service

And remember you continue your language learning on the go with our free mobile app for iOS!!

No Comments | 14 February, 2016