In our everyday life we happen to encounter the French language. We see “À la carte” or “à la mode” on our favorite restaurant’s menu, “c’est lavie” on our friend’s status message on facebook and art nouveau or haute couture section on the lifestyle section of our morning newspapers. We use French even if we don’t realize it. But do we know how to read them properly?
Well, you are in luck because everyone who knows how to speak English can easily learn how to read French. Both English and French have the same 26-character alphabet. But even with the apparent similarities there are complexities to be taken account to when studying the French alphabet.
In French, vowels are divided into single vowels (a, e, i, o, u) and vowel groups where two or more vowels combined like ‘ai’, ‘au’ and ‘ou’. Consonants are pronounced differently in French. An example is the sound of ‘r’. In English, “r” is soft and round. Contrary to French, where “r” is rough or low.
If we would like to learn to read French we must not only concentrate on the alphabet but also study French grammar and vocabulary. The French sentence structure is similar to English where there is a subject and predicate. And just a trivia, in French, every noun has a gender associated with them but unlike English, French do not have neuter gender for inanimate objects. It’s only masculine or feminine. These are only few examples of the differences and similarities of English and French.
Without going into further details, it is no question that if a person can read English, one may easily learn to read French. With the French language worldwide presence there is no shortage of resources in learning French. We can go to libraries and bookstores to look for French – English dictionaries.
Owning a good dictionary is a must for anyone who wishes to speak and read French. We can also go online to search for French language tutorials. Plus, there is Alliance Francaise an organization dedicated to promote the French culture and language all over the world, you can visit their website for more details.