French – German: Starting with the basics

Today was our first meeting after we discussed our learning goals and how we would like to proceed with the sessions. Since my French skills are non-existent, we started with the very basics of French. We started by compiling a document with the vocabulary for a basic introduction and the number system.

Since Germany and France are quite close together and a lot of my friends learned French in school, I had a few touchpoints with the French language before. I have heard before that the spelling in French has “nothing” to do with the pronunciation but until today I was not aware of how many silent letters French uses. This was really confusing for me at first, but I hope it will get better with more practice.

The second thing we looked at today was the number system. And again, France had a tricky surprise for me. After 60 France decided to stop counting on the tens and instead just build them by multiplying and adding the existing tens. For example, 70 is pronounced as “soixante dix” which means 60 + 10 and 80 (“quatre vingt”) is basically 4 times 20. For the start, I tried to focus on the numbers from 0 to 20 and practice the pronunciation there.

This first lesson was already quite fun, and we had a good laugh about all the tricky and sometimes weird exceptions in French. Since Leonié already has a good basis in German we focused on the French part today, but I am looking forward to teaching some German in our next meeting.

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