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It’s one thing to speak a language, but it’s a completely different challenge to be able to fluently converse in another language. That’s always been my end goal from the moment I decided that I wanted to learn French. Most people will say that French is one of the hardest languages to learn phonetically, but what it really comes down to is practice and familiarizing yourself with the language in your everyday life. 

Another assumption that I hear frequently is that the only way to become fluent in a secondary language is to move a place where that language is the official language of that country. Yes, I agree that it will help you tremendously when it comes to your overall fluency, but unfortunately, that is not a feasible option for everyone, and it is a huge commitment overall. 

People who are choosing to take up another language should really take advantage of online tools that help become fluent from home. Looking into local resources as well can allow you to converse in the language that you are trying to learn. I am definitely not a fluent french speaker, but after adhering to these practices, I feel that my comprehension and pronunciation have significantly improved.

French Podcasts – Duolingo

Several of my french speaking friends have suggested that I listen to this podcast and I am glad that they did. The French Duolingo uses very simple french phrases that are easy to understand. The speakers also talk a lot slower so listeners can catch on to what they are saying very easily. Each episode is centered around current events so you are also learning about what is relevant around the world. This podcast is simple to understand and is also educational.

French Discussion Groups

Conversing with people in French is honestly nerve-racking, but it has gotten me out of my comfort zone and has also helped me tremendously. I am currently in a French honors discussion group where I have the privilege to converse in French with some really talented students. I learn so much just by listening to them and the way they pronounce words. They also challenge me to speak in more fluent sentences. If any of my buddies in my French discussion group are reading this, a huge shout-out to you all!

French Music:

Understanding how to speak French casually in a way that’s trendy and not based on your textbook is really difficult in all honesty. However, one way to start is by listening to present-day French music. My favorite genre of music is rap so I listen to French rappers like Vald and the French rap group PNL whenever I am in the car or on my way to campus. 

Learning French is all about immersing yourself in the language and culture and you can do that from home. Traveling across the world can help, but it is not the only way to learn a new language. 

Hi everyone ! My name is Maryam Oyebamiji and I am currently pursuing my undergraduate degree in Urban Planning and Design, with a minor in English on a Pre-Law track.