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French Basics and Essential Info - What you need to know about French

Learn about the basics of French: where is it spoken and by how many people? How much influence has it had on English? What French do you need to know when traveling? Why should you learn French?
  1. French for Beginners
  2. Beginning Grammar
  3. Beginning Pronunciation
  4. Francophonie / French Facts (273)
  5. Jobs using French (16)

Introduction to French
If you've ever wondered where French came from and how it fits in with other languages, here is some basic information.

French in English
The English language has been shaped by a number of other languages over the centuries, and most Anglophones know that Latin and German were two of the most important. What many don't realize is how much the French language has influenced English.

What is French? Facts and Figures About the French Language
How many French speakers are there? Where is French spoken? In which international organizations is French an official language? Read this introduction to some facts and figures about the French language.

Essential French
Learn some essential French words and phrases, including yes, no, I don't speak French, and do you speak English?

Most Common French Words
The 100 most common French words, with links to lessons.

What Is the Best Way to Learn French?
Students always ask, "what's the best way to learn French?" Unfortunately, the best way to learn French may not be the affordable way to learn French or the practical way to learn French. Read this article to learn about the best way to learn French as well as the runners-up.

French learning checklist
Start learning French on your own, beginning with the easiest and most basic vocabulary and grammar and working your way up.

Learn French basics in 7 days
Learn the basics of French in 7 days.

Travel French Newsletter
Taking a trip to France or another francophone country? My six-week Travel French newsletter is just what you need - learn survival travel French, from making reservations and eating at restaurants to getting around and dealing with emergencies.

French Alphabet
Learn the French alphabet: you can listen to the whole alphabet at once or one letter at a time.

French Greetings
Learn how to say hello, hi, how are you, and good-bye in French.

French Numbers
Learn how to count in French with French cardinal numbers.

French Wine Pronunciation
If you love French wine but hate ordering it, here's a page that can help. This list of French wines and related vocabulary includes sound files to help you pronounce the names of French wines.

How to Fake a French Accent
I love the beautiful accent that the French have when they speak English, and it can be fun or even useful to imitate it. If you're an actor, comedian, or grand séducteur, learn how to fake a French accent with this in-depth look at how the French speak English.

Why is French the language of ballet?
A quick look at why so many ballet terms are French.

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