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Say Oui to French with Online French Tutors

12 Oct 2020

We, humans, are complex beings. On one hand, we say that food, clothing, and shelter are the only means to survive whereas on the other we crave literature, poetry, culture, etc. for our existence as well. Since the dawn of civilization, it has been observed that creative works have always taken precedence in the documents revived from the said eras. Say oui to French online!

Needless to mention the spectrum of creativity is too huge to accommodate in such a small discussion. Therefore, our current discussion is limited only to literary creative works, more specifically French literature.

French: Language of Elites

As soon as the word French is discerned, as a sense of Bourgeoisie grandeur immediately seeps in. Linguists define French as a Romance Language considered as part of the Indo-European language family. However, this ‘Romance’ must not be confused with the notion of Romantic Love. The ‘Romance’ here comes from the Latin Phrase ‘Romanica loqui’, which translates to speaking in Roman Fashion.

The inception of the French language happened during the Roman conquests of the Gaul region. Because of Roman occupation, the native inhabitants of the Gaul region began to adopt the Latin Language as their own but imbibing the local dialects in it, thereby creating the Gallo-Romance branch of language. The Gallo- Romance Language was again heavily influenced by Germanic Invasions. The language that evolved post these invasions is often considered as Old French language.

In due course of time, various dialects began to emerge out of Old French and began their evolutionary journeys either to extinction or to survival. Once such a dialect, the Francien thrived and eventually paved the way to modern French making its rite of passage through Middle French.

If we look at current numbers; French is the lingua franca of about 29 countries all over the world. The United Nations considers French as one of the six official languages. Many renowned international organizations like the International Committee of the Red Cross, the European Union, the International Olympic Committee, the World Trade Organization, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization consider French either their main or 2nd language.

Literature: The binoculars to a culture

The best way to understand any region and their respective culture is to follow their literary works closely. The most interesting thing about any piece of literature is that in the process of telling the stories of the imaginary character they are given a real image of the writer’s surroundings and culture. The fun becomes even more when you can understand the language of the work because there are some innate details like humor, which can never be translated and best enjoyed in its original form.

This fact remains the same for every work created in any known language to humankind. French is no exception. There are some sects of literature connoisseurs, who decline to enjoy works of other languages simply because they will not be able to enjoy those pieces in their most native form. They, therefore, often learn the language to understand the spontaneous beauty of such creations.

French Literature: A Romantic Affair – Say oui to French

As of 2006, France has given the maximum number of Literature Nobel Prize winners than any other county in the world. Therefore, it can be easily assumed that some of the best literary works exist in French. One would be simply left oblivious to such beautiful classics just by not knowing this wonderful language.

One of the first surviving works in Ancient French Literature is the Song of Roland. It is an epic poem composed in about the 11th Century, based on the famous battle of the Battle of Roncevaux Pass. Coming to the modern era, some of the mentioned worthy literary celebrities include Guy de Maupassant, Victor Hugo, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Alexander Dumas, Jean-Paul Sartre et.al.

These celebrated authors represent their eras throughout history, in the form of their literary masterpieces. Despite their works being widely translated in various other languages, the essence of the ethos and pathos about their created characters is always best perceived in French. Even though French is eulogized widely as a romantic language, it has its fair share of other emotions as well. It is the phonetics and the presentation that gives away a feeling of romanticism in all the expressions of various other emotions.

If we consider Hugo's Les Misérables, it simply starts as the redemption of Jean Valjean or the misery of Fantine, but gradually amasses the misery of the whole French population during those times that ultimately instigated the French Revolution. Unless one is proficient in French it would be rather difficult to capture that sentiment vividly. Only when the real spirits of the characters are realized then the whole sense of this revolution can be comprehended on a global level.

Enjoy French literature just like the French do

Having said that, enjoy French Literature just like the locals, the next important part is the actual learning of the language. The old school method of engaging in books and classrooms still work wonders in such cases. However, now times have changed, and given the ongoing pandemic, online French tutors are the latest craze. Listing the benefits of considering online tuitions would be an unnecessary adage as we are all aware of them more or less.

Whether it is a good old classroom or brand new virtual conference meeting, learning always works both ways, with a greater emphasis on the enthusiasm of the learner. Simply feeling like pursuing French will not help. You have to have a real passion for the language and in turn their culture to motivate you enough to seek it though. Just like any other studies, French also needs time, patience, motivation, and discipline. All this combined would help you breeze through French like cracking Crème Brûlée.

Saying Au revoir (goodbye until we meet again) is easy, what matters is to reste en arrière (stay back). Only then, you will get the reward of enjoying the creative fest left over by these renowned French authors over periods.

Comments on this Say Oui to French with Online French Tutors advice article are welcome.

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