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French is so hard, some expats say (the pronunciation, the exceptions to grammar rules, etc.) Is this true? Let's take a look at it.

Amazing List

Did you know that 45% of all English words come from French words? This means about 80,000 words in the English vocabulary! It is hard to believe! [1].

 In English, you already use many French words and phrases: chic, rendez-vous, déjà vu, faux pas, gourmet, etc. Add to this list international words like taxi, TV, bus, telephone  zero, stop, stress, aluminium, (and many many more) ... and you realize that you already know more than one thousand French words[2]. Were you aware of this?

The Challenge

In fact, the real challenge in French is the pronunciation. For instance, "sport" is pronounced without uttering the "silent t". You might not recognize the word said by natives and they might not understand you either. There is a reason for this: the sound range used in English differs completely from the French one[3].

The 1st Rule : Don’t Read French

In order to pronounce French correctly, never start learning French by using a book. It is a trap and a big waste of time: if you read a French word which looks familiar to you (like “invention”), you will pronounce it the way you say it in your mother language, and nobody will understand you.

Learning a language always starts with sound recognition and repetition (think of how you learned your mother language  as a baby – you had no books when you started speaking with mum!). The only way to pronounce French words the right way, is to repeat them without seeing the spelling, with immediate feedback from a coach.

The 2nd Rule: Develop Reflexes

Language reflexes help you utter sentences spontaneously without translation. How do you think the French learned to say easily: “Je le lui ai déjà demandé”? Exactly the way English-speaking people learned “Sandy badgered her parents into buying her a new computer”. We have the same sort of complex sentences in each language. They were repeated many times until they became part of the spontaneous language. It is the only way. Once memorized, the next challenge is to apply these blocs of words to different contexts. It is the role of the method to lead you from those “blocs” to conversation.

The Natural Learning Method

At Call International we have developed a methodological approach for learning French[4] in a natural way: the "3 Steps Up" method. It is so interactive, easy-to-follow and so fun that you forget possibly preconceived ideas about French. You will surprise yourself by speaking French, right from the beginning of the course![5]

Which French Do You Need?

You might only need day-to-day language for chatting with your neighbors, ordering at the restaurant, explaining a leak to the plumber, or asking for information on the street. At a higher level, you might also want to have a conversation about your hobby, the news or your job.

What Is the Best Program for You?

There are adapted French programs for every need: group or individual courses, distance or face-to-face programs, e-learning, intensive or non-intensive courses, language immersion, or a wonderful program called Speech Power, which can double learning speed. To read more about our French course palette, take a look at this page:

Have a word with us about it: +2 353 13 00 or Asking for information does not commit you to anything, but it helps you clarify your project and, save time and money.

Speaking French is a goal at hand when you choose the shortest path to it.


[1] ( If English is not your mother language, you can search the French influence on your language with a search engine.

[2] This amount fluctuates according to the number of French words in your mother language (other than English) and your level of English mastery.

[3] French sounds range from 1000 Hz to 2000 Hz, and English ones from 2000 Hz to 12000 Hz.

[4] Or other languages like Dutch, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese, etc.

[5] We have been using this method for 30 years with great success (94% client satisfaction – 2015 Q4 audit)