Phrases – Lesson 1

Study Tip – Hardware vs. Software. If you are monolingual, you are hard-wired. If you are multi-lingual, you are running software on your language processor. Benny Lewis, the polyglot whom you may have seen on video advertisements for language products, or his blog:

says that his hardest language to learn was Spanish. This always astounds his audience, because he’s fluent in seven languages (at the moment), and conversational in four others. Why would Spanish be difficult for a polyglot? Because he was hard-wired in English, until his brain reconfigured itself to accept the rules and construction of Spanish. Once his brain had accepted a single new language construct, the next language was processed by filling in the blanks. He did not have to work past the idea that he COULD learn another language, he simply went through the process of learning the sounds (pronunciation), the parts of speech and how they are modified and placed in sentences, various language rules that are unique to the language, and acquiring vocabulary. Keep this in mind when you hear a polyglot tell you how simple and quickly you can learn a language. If you are monolingual and taking French, this will be the most difficult language you will ever learn, and it will take some time. Use your language process, and avoid shortcuts or rushing through modules or lessons. When you miss a word, process it. When you miss a gender, create a mnemonic. I often offer my own mnemonic, as an example, but mnemonics work best when they are personal.


Ça – this/that
va – to go (he/she/it)
Non – no
nuit – night
Oui – yes
bonne – good
Merci – thanks

Purpose of Module

Quick introduction to greetings and common phrases.


Ça va – I am doing well (it goes)
Comment ça va? How goes it?
Ça va? How goes it?
La nuit est calme – The night is calm
Merci! Thanks!
Merci beaucoup! Thank you very much!
Merci et bonne nuit! Thanks and good night
Non! No.
Oui, bonne nuit – Yes, good night
Oui, la pomme est rouge – The apple is red
Oui, merci! Yes! Thanks!

Notes – Don’t forget to get the genders memorized with mnemonics. i.e. “nuit” is feminine (lady of the night).


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