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5 Tips To Learning French In Montreal

By Pamela Pierre

Canada is the second largest country in the world with coast to coast oceans, a diverse population with two official languages.

In addition to hundreds of lakes, national parks, poutines it is home to the vibrant city of Montreal. This year Canada celebrates its 150th birthday, #Canada150 and the city of Montreal its 375th year. Now more than ever, is the ideal time visit the second best country in the world.

Head to your favourite cheap ticket site, book your ticket and join us for #Canada150 starting with the city of Montreal. The city of Montreal is situated in the distinct francophone province of Quebec. The cobblestones in Vieux Port and the busy fashion district of Saint Catherine are symbols of the cities diversity, guarantee to impress the most experienced traveler.   

While the cultural richness will impress you, it is the exquisite culinary experience that will leave you in love with the city. The mixture of French Canadian, European influenced and Latin American fusions will tickle your appetite and may even encourage you to parle le français! France isn’t the only place to learn how to say, “Je t’aime” and “J’adore”.

Allow Les Québécois to provide you with a French immersion experience. So whether you are just passing by to sip on a warm and full body merlot for the summer or planting new roots here are 5 easy tips on learning French in Montreal:

  1. Make French friends

One of the easiest ways to get started in learning french in the city is to hang around people who speak french. Not only will they be able to teach you some quick words and sentences to get around. They will also provide you with a support system in your french immersion experience.

2. Take a class

Enrolling in a language class or language program is the traditional and most common way to learn a language. Let’s be honest, it’s expensive, time-consuming and emotionally challenging.  It requires you to be in a room with many students with one instructor with little to no individual tutoring time. While some people prefer this method, many are discouraged by the time consumption and lack of personalized training. This is not the only solution but certainly a good option depending on your language goals and learning style. 

3. Binge watch your favourite shows en Française

For our Netflix fans and binge-watchers, this is actually an option. One of the best ways to learn French is to watch your favourite shows en Français. This way you can follow the content and understand the episode in French You’ll learn new words, phrases and maybe even jokes! What’s sexier than telling jokes in French? Not much! Continue #NetflixandChill while learning French! 

4. Go out and explore

Get out of the apartment, walk around in one of the several boroughs of Montreal and explore the city! Montreal is the perfect city to learn french while walking around and you know why? Because all the signs are written in French! From the second you walk out, you’ll be exposed to French and the dominant Francophone culture. Everything from street names and store fronts is written in French, so by immersing yourself and engaging in the French culture of Montreal is a good measure in living the French immersion experience.

5. Find your learning style

In the end, everyone has a different learning style. Find what works best for you. It might be one of the tips mentioned above, a combination of them or something completely different. Adapt2me offers an innovative online language learning platform and mobile app with individual tutoring. Book a session with one of our expert tutors to help you craft witty French jokes, land your dream job in Montreal or in Europe and add an additional skill to your LinkedIn account. 

No Comments | 14 April, 2017

Tips to Efficiently Learn French

Learning French, like learning any other language, involves a lot of memorization that is daunting for adults who no longer have the flexible minds of youth.  

However, here are a few tips that can help you accomplish your language learning goals a little faster.

Keep Away from Translating

As much as possible stay away from translating words unless you are completely stuck.  There are a number of reasons for this.  One, of course, is the sheer memorization acrobatics you will have to do to retain all that information.  But there are terms that are just not translatable.  For example, “I am” and “I have” when presented in this form are straightforward, but if you add an adjective at the end, it isn’t directly translatable.  

Try to say “I am hungry” which translated verbatim is je suis faim, instead of “J’ai faim.  The latter would translate to “I have hungry”.  We’ve all seen the nonsensical online translated texts.  The other reason, of course, is that using a dictionary instead will exponentially increase your vocabulary – chances are you will discover you already know another word that means the same thing.  Better to learn a word or phrase from within the structure of the language you are learning – especially when it comes to French.

Audio vs. Written

No doubt listening to a language spoken is very different from the written version, and there does seem to be a correlation between reading a text and simultaneously listening to the words spoken outloud that reinforces memory.  But the danger is that in French the conversational language sounds very different than the written version.  Take for instance the term “you’re welcome.”  When someone thanks you which in French, it is “il n’y a pas de quoi in the written vernacular; but this becomes “ya pad koa” in the spoken term.   In the case where the spoken and written forms are straightforward, seeing the words and listening to the enunciation of words, particularly where action, is involved, reinforces that word or sentence in your vocabulary.

Find your Learning Style

Everybody has a different learning style, some need to immerse themselves in the learning process by acting out and experimenting, while others can sit in front of a book and devour every syllable until they retain all the information they need.  Some have good auditory memory while others have good visual memory and some have active memory, where they need to do something related to the topic in order to retain new information.  Whatever your style, this is what you need to focus on to achieve desired success.

Sentences Rather Than Words

Try learning sentences rather than individual words.  This will increase the speed with which you learn because the majority of our communications happens at the sentence level.  A single word can seldom convey a message as well.  The sentence has context, associated with it that helps to form a visual or action image to help reinforce learning.  Naturally, it is the words within the sentence that your mind will focus upon and string a series of relatable or recognisable words into a sentence structure.

Immerse Yourself

Too often I see people who are trying to learn French or any other language fall back to their default language.  For instance, they will only make friends with people who speak the same language, watch TV in only their native tongue, shop only at stores they know will serve them in their native tongue, read books in their native language and so on.  French, in particular, is such a complex language that even Francophones who have been away from their language, need to immerse themselves back into the language to recapture all the spoken nuances that were lost while they were away from their native tongue.

Small Doses

We do not mean to imply in the previous paragraph for you to place all your available time into learning French.  Rather, small does everyday will produce better results than doing it all in one sitting.  Do try to read one article in a French newspaper; do try to listen to French radio on the drive to work or listen to the news in French on the television for one hour.  Try to engage in a French conversation with a sales clerk or cashier at your local market.  The more diverse the ways you use to integrate French into your daily activities, the easier this integration will get over the long run.

Find a Language Partner

Find someone who is a fluent Francophone and ask them to correct you everytime they hear you make a mistake. Make it a point to speak to that person as often as your schedule will allow.  Eventually, this person will ease the anxiety we all feel at looking foolish from the linguistic mistakes we are bound to make.  It is important that you see and hear a lot of material that demonstrates your level of learning, and this is where the feedback from your partner will pay dividends. Alternatively, sign up for the tutoring program at Adapt2me where you will be assigned a partner with whom you can schedule regular interactions in increments of 30 minutes each.

Don’t be Shy

Making mistakes will be part of the journey, and no one will fault you for getting things wrong –  even if you have been at this for years.  Timidity and fear will be your greatest adversaries. But if you persevere and keep at it, one day you will notice that you had a complete conversation that did not require fumbling for words or produce anxiety over whether you made yourself clear enough.

 

No Comments | 08 June, 2016

5 Tips To Learning A New Language

Learning a new language is challenging and can be very frustrating at times. Here are some tips to assist you along the way.

#1 Goals

goals

Before you start any language courses or private tutoring sessions, it is essential to set your own personal goals.

Be honest with yourself, you don’t have to be realistic. You can be as ambitious as you please. Either way, the goals you set for yourself will determine your learning path. The goal could be, the ability to hold a conversation in the new language. Or it could be more advanced as to study and or work in the new language. Whatever your goals are, it is essential to establish benchmarks for yourself. These benchmarks will provide checkpoints to measure your progress based on the goals you set. For good measure – have more than one goal. As soon as you complete the first goal, you’ll already be working towards the second goal. Remember…you can never have too many goals.

#2 Behaviour

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Be excited, eager, daring, playful and fearless in your desire and attempt(s) in learning a new language.

A child is unaware of the mistakes they will make, yet, they forge ahead with their curiosity and make them anyway. This is the same for learning a new language. Understand you will make mistakes. The more mistakes you make the more you improve in the language. Ask as many questions, act like a child, as you know nothing. You are starting your learning process all over again. Start with simple concepts, master them eloquently then gradually move onto the following concepts and modules. Remember it should always be fun and exciting!

#3 Coach

 cute-teacher

Staying motivated will get tricky, especially when “life” gets in the way.

You will most likely come across a difficult concept, activity, level or get stuck on a pronunciation. At this time, you will need someone to coach you through the challenges, the struggles and uphill climbs. The coach can either be a friend, paid tutor, professor or just anyone who is a native speaker of the language you are learning. This person must be aware of your language goals, strengths & weaknesses so they are better equipped to coach you to success. It is best to solely communicate with your coach in the language that you are learning. Remember: no one is an island.

#4 Lifestyle

friends

The best way to test your language progress is by making small to big lifestyle changes.

For example, change the settings on your phone/computer/tablet to the language you are learning. Your memory of the buttons and functions mixed with the new language will work as the perfect translation exercise. Other lifestyle changes can include speaking to friends online in your new language, watching movies in the language; listening to music, and attending cultural & entertainment centres. This method has proven to work in a language study conducted by Kaplan. They found that 82% of English foreign speakers learned English by watching American tv shows. 65% of people asked by Kaplan have travelled to English-speaking countries to learn English.

#5 Immersion

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If you ever have the opportunity to travel to the native country of the language you are learning, do so!

Not only will you gain a lifetime of personal experience from visiting another country, exchanging with people, and learning a new culture but it will intensify your language learning journey. Your linguistics abilities will be magnified! There are other solutions to foreign travel, especially for those who live in Canada- more specifically, Quebec. Quebec is a French-speaking province with many small towns where the use of English is limited or not spoken at all. Take a weekend or a week to immerse yourself in the local culture and your French will improve. Likewise, if you are learning English. Travel to an English area and immerse yourself in the local culture. Immersion can also take place by participating in cultural events and concerts. Either way, it is important to get out there and mix it up! As much as possible, surround yourself with as many native speakers of the language you are learning.

No Comments | 27 August, 2015