Learning a new language comes with many challenges, obstacles, and difficulties and people have to be disciplined and persevere if they wish to learn how to speak a new language.

There are thousands of different languages in the world but people are generally interested in learning English, Spanish, French, Chinese, Portuguese, German, Italian, Russian, and other popular languages.

People usually choose to learn to speak a new language because they wish to understand other people from different backgrounds and cultures. Anyone who learns a second or third language doesn't usually do things the easy way, and they like to challenge themselves and fulfill their goals.

In this article, you will learn about the differences between learning English and learning French and some of the similarities between these two languages.

Graffiti on the street about love
If you want to learn how to conjugate every single verb in the French language you can come up with a number of systems to help you start. Photo by Lola Delabays on Unsplash

If you want to keep reading about the subject we suggest you check out the article introduction to the French language and the arts.

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The use of gender in French vs English

English native speakers have a hard time understanding one important aspect of the French language, which is that this language uses gender.

A language that uses gender means it has a feminine or masculine article that is used before every word. In other words, it means that saying "bring me the keys" implies knowing what "gender" the word "key" has, and using it.

There are no rules around the "gender" of a word, a person simply learns it by memory and knows what article to use (whether feminine or masculine) with each word.

Knowing if the word "dog" is feminine or masculine is not something an English student has to worry about. In English, words aren't assigned gender, and students aren't required to know which article to use with each word.

The English language has 0ther types of challenges and difficulties, but learners always seem to point out the fact that English can be regarded as "easier" since it doesn't have gender.

When you learn English you don't have to be worried about knowing if you used the correct article for a word or if you or if you conjugated the word correctly according to its gender.

Other languages that are similar to French because they use gender are Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and more.

The good news is that no matter how hard learning French is, if you learn it you will have a much greater improvement in your memory skills.

Teacher giving a class
You can get free language lessons online or you can hire a private tutor on Superprof to help you with translation or how a word is pronounced. Photo by Natasha Hall on Unsplash

People who learn French exercise their memory much more compared to others who learn English because in French they will have to memorize the gender of each word. This can be challenging but as a student, you'll come out of the other side with a much bigger hippocampus and better memory skills.

So, continue reading to find out other differences between these two languages, and if you wish you can also check out these 10 interesting quotes by French artists.

Pronunciation is the key to learning any language

Speaking is one of the key elements of the process of learning a language. No matter the level you are at, you'll always have lessons on grammar, vocabulary, writing, verbs, adjectives, nouns, past tense, and of course, speaking and pronunciation.

English and French are two languages that are pronounced differently and that have countless different dialects and accents. In English, you have British and American English, which sound different, but also have a different vocabulary.

Within each country, there are also different accents. For example, if you are from Texas you will sound different than someone that is from New York or Los Angeles. Same in England, a person from London will sound different than someone from Yorkshire or West Midlands.

And it is the same for France. French people from Paris sound different from French people from Marseille or Lille. And French sounds even more different in Canada, Belgium, Madagascar, Haiti, and many other countries where French is the official language.

This shows that learning a language can be a little more complicated than it seems. This, however, doesn't mean that you have to learn and speak every dialect or use every accent.

All it means is that you'll learn the language but eventually, you'll come across someone that speaks a little different and you'll probably have a hard time understanding them or getting on the same page. But this is the beauty of having international experiences and meeting people from different places.

Keep in mind that as a student you'll learn the common words and you won't be confused with different vocabulary or pronunciations. Once you learn a new language you will be able to communicate with it but you have to keep in mind that you probably won't sound the same as a native speaker, and that is ok.

Learning a new language can be difficult and a lot of people put a lot of pressure on the spoken word part of a language, but the key lies in practice, even if that means sounding weird at first.

If you are someone that puts a lot of emphasis on sounding great, go ahead and check out this article about the French pronunciation of famous global brands.

Tourist taking a picture in Paris
A French native speaker from France sounds different than a French native speaker from Canada, sometimes they have to do translation work between both countries. Photo by Alicia Steels on Unsplash

If you want to improve your French pronunciation you can try listening to the work of some famous French musicians and singers and pay attention to their phonetics and pronunciation.

There is a different number of rules for each language

When you learn a new language you have to be aware of the fact that you'll have to learn a number of new verbs, adjectives, nouns, grammar, and many other rules.

Learning a new language can get easier as you move forward, but getting started can be slow and difficult. Before you start, you have to be aware of the challenges you'll face and make a promise to yourself that you'll do your best to overcome them.

Or else, you'll end up quitting and you won't reach your goals or objectives. If learning a language were easy everyone would speak every language in the world. However, this is not an easy task and you should keep in mind that it won't get easier any time soon.

The key to learning a new language is being constant with your classes and during your free time. If you go to class but you don't practice during your free time you won't pass to the next level as quickly as other people who do practice at home.

Similarities between French and English

Student reading or studying
A verb and a noun in France won't sound the same as a verb and a noun in Belgium, the vocabulary and sound of a verb and a noun can be different depending on the place. Photo by Kyle Gregory Devaras on Unsplash

Learning languages with similar roots can make the learning process easier. For example, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese all have a Latin root, and English and German both have a Proto-Germanic root. These languages can have the similar vocabulary, pronunciation, use of past tense, rules, adjectives, and more.

However, French and English don't share many similarities other than they both use the same alphabet. But, French has extra elements that aren't used in English. For example, French uses accents on its vowels and it uses the letter ç which is not used in English.

According to many studies done by different linguists, French and English share 27% of words. For you to have a clue of how much that is, English and German have a 60% similarity of words!

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