By Johanne Adam
To mark Mois de la francophonie, the Gazette asked University students, professors and staff for advice for Francophiles who want to learn French faster. Here are some of the answers we got.
“I recommend that they find a friend who speaks French and practise with (him or her), because practising is the best way.” ― Jakie Laflamme, communications officer, Student Services
“I would tell them to not be afraid of asking francophone friends questions, because your friends will be pleased to see you trying to learn French, rather than not trying at all.” ― Corinne Laporte, student, Faculty of Social Sciences
“I think it’s important to speak the language, not just at the University, but elsewhere … because you don’t learn a language by just reading books or studying it. You also have to try to speak it.” ― Mickäel Morin, student, Faculty of Science
“You don’t have to be afraid to speak French with francophones and you certainly shouldn’t think that they’re going to laugh at you.” ― Véronique Bonneville, student, Faculty of Social Sciences
“For me as a Francophile and Spanish speaker … what helped a lot was living in French. Always communicating in French, listening to the radio and watching television in French as well. I also took grammar and conversation classes, and it helps. But I think you have to live in French to learn it and you can do that easily here in Ottawa.” ― Isaac Nahon-Serfaty, professor, Faculty of Arts, Department of Communication
“For me, it’s working here at the University of Ottawa. I’m a student but I also have a job at the Faculty of Education through the Work-Study Program. Working in an environment where I have to use both official languages helps me a lot. I also work with a good team that encourages me to speak French.” ― Maria Paulina Mendoza, student, Faculty of Social Sciences
See also: What’s your favourite French expression?