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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: La langue française: The French Language

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everyone welcome to the lange focused

channel and my name is paul today's

topic is the french language or language

lessons as it's called in French French

is a language that really needs no

introduction it's the official language

of France of course but it's an official

language of 29 countries in total that

includes other countries in Europe

namely Belgium Switzerland Luxembourg

and Monaco numerous countries in Africa

Canada where it's spoken mainly in the

province of Quebec the Caribbean South

America and the South Pacific

it's estimated that French is spoken by

between 80 and 110 million native

speakers but that number doesn't give us

a full picture because between 140 and

180 million people speak it as a Second

Language the majority of them in Africa

French is also an important language of

international diplomacy and used to be

the main global lingua franca French is

a member of the gallo-romance branch of

the Romance language family which

descended from vulgar latin just like

all Romance languages did it's also part

of a smaller subset of gallo-romance

called lung the doyen

a dialect continuum in northern France

southern Belgium and the Channel Islands

which includes frosty on the dialect

from which standard French derived and

its closest relatives history in the

second century BCE present-day France

was part of the Gaul region which also

included Belgium Switzerland northern

Italy in parts of Germany and the

Netherlands the Gaul spoke Gaulish which

was not a unified language but rather a

series of Celtic languages and dialects

but very little is known about Gaulish

the Roman Republic conquered Gaul in the

2nd and 1st centuries BCE and in order

to become Roman citizens Gauls were

required to adopt the Roman way of life

including their language Latin being

able to speak Latin became a way to gain

social status economic opportunity and

employment in the civil service over the

next few centuries Gaulish latin

bilingualism became more common and

eventually latin dominated in the

Gaulish languages disappeared the common

people spoke vulgar latin of

ocular form of Latin that differed from

the formal written language and also

differed from place to place throughout

the Roman Empire and I'm feeling deja vu

right now because I think I talked about

this in every video about a Romance

language beginning in the year 375 C II

the Germanic invasions began and

gradually replaced the Western Roman

Empire with Germanic kingdoms the fall

of the empire accelerated the divergence

of vulgar latin into distinct romantic

dialects the dialects of northern Gaul

which would later develop into the lungs

oil changed more than others because of

frequent contact with Germanic languages

like Frankish spoken by the elite the

Frankish elite spoke both Frankish and

romantic and after a while they spoke

mainly romantic dialects but Frankish

left an important footprint on those

dialects French which developed from one

of these romantic dialects got

approximately 550 words from Frankish or

around 13% of the total number of lone

words in French and its phonology was

greatly influenced as well this is a

large part of why French phonology is so

distinct from other Romance languages it

developed from the germanized romantic

speech of the Frankish Eiland but I'm

getting ahead of myself

let me back up for a minute old French

romantic dialects gradually grew into

distinct languages and by the 8th

century the dialects of the northwestern

part of the Frankish Kingdom grew into a

number of dialects that are collectively

referred to as old French which later

began to be called the long the dog as

they developed further there was no

standard form of old French but rather a

dialect continuum one of those dialects

Francia was spoken in a small area

around Paris and it's the old French

variety from which standard French

developed France young is a modern word

at the time the dialect was actually

called France wit that name later

evolved into francais the name of French

today the king in the upper classes

spoke Frankish Latin was the language of

writing and the common people who were

mostly illiterate spoke one of the

various dialects but over the next few

centuries the upper classes began to

speak false young under King Louis the

ninth Francia gained new prestige and

was adopted by the upper classes in

cities around the kingdom

the common people continued to speak

local dialects and Latin continued to

serve as the language of Education the

courts and academia throughout the

Catholic world under King Philip the

fourth French began to be used as the

language of official documents and

government and began to compete with

Latin as a written language middle

French during the middle French period

French changed dramatically particularly

in its phonology but scholars tried to

maintain the language which means that

the written French of today often

reflects the pronunciation of French

before those changes took place old

French had two cases retained from Latin

but those also disappeared in middle

French and this resulted in the word

order of French being more fixed this

was during the Renaissance period when

the cultural dominance of Italy

influenced French 8,000 Italian

vocabulary words entered French 800 of

which are still in use today

in the sixteenth century King Francois

the first signed the ordinance of

vehicle claim which made French the

official language of administration

instead of Latin the Catholic Church

fought hard against this move and didn't

want the Holy Scriptures to be

translated into common languages but

their efforts ultimately failed the

printing press also helped to spread

French because more people could read

and understand it than they could Latin

so publishers printed more books in

French modern French in the 17th century

French took the place of Latin as the

lingua franca of Europe and the Catholic

world this was also the century in which

grammarians sought to standardize proper

French with the publishing of French

grammars and the Academie Francaise was

founded in 1635 with the mission of

promoting proper French and preserving

that form of the language at that time

only a small percentage of the people in

France actually spoke French

most of them spoke other Atlanta Doyle

the other regional varieties of speech

later in 1880 universal education would

be established and French would be made

to the sole language of Education and

the only language permitted to be spoken

at school this measure would push

standard French to be near universally

spoken throughout the country in the

18th century French became the language

of international diplomacy used in

international legal documents and so on

reaching a status similar

to the status of English today French

maintained the status until the time of

the First World War

French may not currently be the most

widely spoken global lingua franca but

it's still an important diplomatic

language it's one of the official

languages of the UN of the European

Union international courts as well as

eight agencies and NGOs why is French

spoken in so many countries around the

world that's because in the 17th century

France began establishing colonies all

over the globe after losing most of

these colonies in wars with other

colonial powers France began a second

colonial empire establishing mainly

colonies in Africa Southeast Asia and

the South Pacific aside from a few

overseas departments and territories of

France these colonies no longer exist

but French is still spoken in many of

those places so what is French like

French naturally shares a lot in common

with other Romance languages and

speakers of Romance languages we'll find

it familiar and comprehensible in many

ways especially in its written form but

its phonology is quite distinct from

other Romance languages and it's

pronunciation is often not intuitive

based on the spelling because its

orthography often reflects pronunciation

from an earlier time pronunciation and

orthography in Old French there were

diff thongs and triphthongs

but these became simple vowels so today

in French there are vowels that look

like diphthongs or trif thongs but

represent simple vowel sounds for

example boo boo Fleur girl you can see

that all of these words contain a single

vowel sound but are spelled like

diphthongs or trif thongs there are also

a number of nasal vowels typically when

an N or an M comes after a vowel it's

not pronounced but the preceding vowel

is nasalized for example fun huh she'll

come here's a phrase with several nasal

vowels boom van blown there are some

exceptions for example when an adjective

or noun takes a feminine ending II

there's Xiang with a nasal vowel but

then there's Shin with an oral vowel and

an end zone

there are also a number of diacritics or

written accents in French four of these

appear on vowels the first is the axial

Teague Xie or acute accent which is used

on the letter e this represents an a

sound for example Luke Fe then there's

the excellent Grove or grave accent with

a and you it's used mainly to

distinguish between otherwise similarly

looking and sounding words for example


meaning where versus ooh meaning or with

E the grave accent indicates that the

sound is like the en bet as opposed to

an e with an acute accent which sounds

like a then there's the accent Clemmie

this shows that two side-by-side vowel

symbols are pronounced independently for

example currency DOS

meaning coincidence then there's the

circumflex accent which can appear on

any vowel this indicates that the vowel

was historically followed by an S for

example in fact meaning a party just to

illustrate let's look at the Italian

cognate of this word una Festa notice

that there's an S in the Italian word in

an earlier form of French there was an S

after the E and before the T TIGI or

cedilha which indicates that the C

sounds like an S becomes ax please note

that the cedilha is not used when the

consonant comes before an i or an e

because a C in that position is always

pronounced like an S anyway there are

also silent consonants in French

consonants that are written but not

pronounced this includes most consonants

that come at the end of a word for

example shop Pope there there is the

masculine form of an adjective but in

the feminine form of adjectives the

final consonant is pronounced and in

writing and E is placed after it

so there's fair but vest but not all

final consonants are silent certain

consonants are often but not always

pronounced at the end specifically see

our F and L the consonants in the word


for example Aveline avec positive

grammar let's look at word order in very

simple SVO sentences the word order of

French is basically the same as English

for example here's a sentence meaning he

likes movies elem listen word-for-word

'it's he likes the film's so we have

subject verb object but already we see

that something is different from the

English sentence because there's a

definite article in English the definite

article would only be used to refer to

specific films but in French the

definite article is also used for

general statements like this articles in

French are somewhat complex we'll come

back to those a little later the word

order starts to become more different

from English when there are object

pronouns in the sentence so there's the

sentence meaning I see the building

you've read about this month but then

there's jus revoir meaning I see it word

for word it's I it see you see that the

object pronoun comes before the verb not

after it and then there are sentences

with a direct object pronoun and an

indirect object pronoun ballmer done do

locks on this means paul gives me money

paul to me gives some money now let's

change the direct object to a pronoun

Bern we're done this means Paul gives it

to me word-for-word it's Paul to me it

gives and if we make it negative it

becomes even more different from English

Burnham ela dança the nut and pot

constitute the negative it's a word for

word is Paul negative to me yet give not

there are more differences beyond these

but that gives you a bit of an idea for

now basically the word order is more

similar when there are no object

pronouns let's briefly look at a few

other grammatical features of French

gender all nouns have either a masculine

or feminine gender in French the gender

of the noun is also reflected in

articles before the noun and adjectives

that modify it for example the word for

hat shabbu is masculine Lucia Pooh blue

means the blue hat

the definite article and the adjectives

are masculine the word for shirt shoes

is feminine la chemise blue means the

blue shirt the definite article and the

adjectives are feminine articles there

are three types of articles in French

definite indefinite and part

all three types of articles have

masculine feminine and plural forms and

definite and positive articles have

special forms before a vowel

what are positive articles you might ask

well they're indefinite but they refer

to a vague unspecified quantity often

for food or abstract qualities for

example buddha-head you get two meaning

I would like some cake the amount of

cake is vague so we use the partitive

article nouns are almost always preceded

by articles in French unless there's a

different determiner before the noun

such as a possessive pronoun like my or

a demonstrative pronoun like that

negation before we saw the phrase bond

Nomura denpa which is negative with the

negation in two parts na and pop but

it's not always pot that's used no

shammy means never

for example even Ottaviani means he

never works no real means nothing for

example an emotion Jung means she eats

nothing or she doesn't eat anything no

best son means nobody Geneva pet son

means I saw no one or I didn't see

anyone Leah and pest son can also be the

subject of a sentence

their son never knew means nobody came

and Riaan sebasi means nothing happened

verbs the verb system of French is

fairly complex if we include all of the

compound tenses moods and aspects there

are 14 tenses plus the imperative form

let's look at a couple of the basic

tenses in la chemise this means

he's wearing the shirt

Paul is the present tense third-person

masculine singular conjugation but let's

change this to the future tense

he's dr. Holly chemise this means he

will wear the shirt now let's change

this to the imperfect tense imperfect to

mean he was wearing the shirt he's

baaack de la chemise the imperfect shows

that the action was ongoing at a certain

point in the past if you want to express

that the action was completed at a

certain point in the past you can use

the passe compose a passe compose e ela

doc de la chemise that means he wore the

shirt you can see that in the past a

composite there is

auxiliary verb avoir which means to have

and it's followed by the past participle

of the main verb bhakti for some verbs

in the past I compose a particularly

reflexive verbs and those showing

movement a different auxiliary verb is

used at con to be for example elicited

enemies on this means he left the house

you can see that the auxiliary verb is a

form of Ethel rather than evoi

vocabulary as a Romance language most

French vocabulary is of latin origin and

some of the more modern vocabulary or

hybrid words built from both latin and

greek roots english vocabulary has been

greatly influenced by French so English

speakers will likely notice a lot of

French words that look like English ones

the way they're pronounced however is

quite different for example information

samus danger

Don G double dubler licensed resource

and there are a significant number of

false friends between French and English

words that look the same but actually

means something else for example

actually actually more active Elmo

doesn't mean actually it means currently

or right now assist assist e a sea state

means to attend then there's attend act

on a tone doesn't mean to attend it

means to wait there are quite a lot of

false friends like this so you can never

assume that a French word has the same

meaning as a similar-looking English

word now let's look at one final

sentence and see what we find

here's a sentence meaning she went for a

walk to the park yesterday it's a pun

new back yeah word-for-word it's she

herself took for a walk to the park

yesterday L is the third person feminine

singular pronoun next we have the verb

phrase and this year is a reflexive verb

ser' is the third person pronoun used

for reflexive it means herself or

himself next we have the third-person

singular present tense form of Ethel

this is used as the auxiliary verb for

the pass a composite or reflexive verbs

honey is the past participle of the main

verb this is the feminine singular form

which takes an extra e at the end by

itself it's a transitive verb meaning to

take for a walk

but the

plexiform used here means to go for a

walk here we have a preposition meaning

to the two by itself is aa but when used

before the masculine singular definite

article they are replaced by all four

feminine singular it would be a lot and

for plural it would be all back is the

noun meaning park so this whole phrase

means to the park yeah is the adverb

meaning yesterday as you can see French

is a very interesting language for

speakers of English or Romance languages

there are probably many elements of

French that seem familiar but then when

you get into the details of the language

there might be aspects that seem complex

or challenging but French is a highly

rewarding language and by learning

French you will not only be able to

communicate with French speakers but you

will also open the door to a whole new

world of culture literature cinema and

history the question of the day for

native speakers of French in this video

I focused mainly on standard Parisian

French but what regional differences are

you aware of are there any differences

in the French spoken at Belgium

Switzerland Quebec etc and for learners

of French what aspects of French have

you found challenging and how have you

dealt with those challenges leave your

answers in the comments down below be

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The Description of La langue française: The French Language