Why Should You Learn French in Canada?
So you want to speak French, eh? Why Canada? Why not France or Switzerland or any of the other five continents that French is spoken in? Well, because it’s one of the only countries in the west that have French AND English as its official languages. Making it ideal for an English speaker to learn French with all the translations within reach. And of course, because of its friendly people,natural beauty, Northern lights and Maple syrup - but I’ll get to that later…
A different language is a different vision of life. - Federico Fellini
It’s one thing to be hunched over a text book or phone at home drumming conjugations into your head, or reciting ‘le pomme est rouge’ a thousand times to your Duolingo, but it’s an entirely different experience living in a place where you spend every day naturally surrounded by a language. Although these methods can help you learn the language, only one of them has been said time and time again that it is a tremendous catalyst for your language learning abilities (it’s not Duolingo).
Here are some reasons why you should choose the Great White North for enhancing your French language skills:
1. You will be completely engrossed in the language
Have you ever heard of those people who listen to things when they sleep to trick their subconscious into learning? Yes, that’s what it’s like learning French in Canada: there’s no way of avoiding the language. From street signs, television to overheard conversations on the street, every interaction will become a new learning opportunity. And the best thing is you’re not even trying. That’s pronunciations, verb endings, masculine and feminine conjugations all being added to your language arsenal subconsciously.
2. You’re speaking the language every day
I’m still feeling betrayed by my Duolingo for turning from ‘learned’ green to ‘needing work’ yellow on my vocabulary list. But, I guess practice really does make perfect because you can get daily pronunciation practice effortlessly whilst living in Canada. It’s a proven fact that no matter where you are you’ll begin speaking like the people around you. It’s all part of developing yourself and merging with the people and cultures around you. And inevitably you’re French pronunciation skills will improve naturally until you’re speaking like a local.
3. You’ll make new friends and open up a world of new people
Canadians are renowned for being some of the nicest and friendliest people in the world. So you’re almost guaranteed to meet lots of new friends. Learning a language can also open doors and it can connect people from different cultures and backgrounds. When you speak to someone in their mother tongue or make the effort to connect with someone it is one of the best ways to form a friendship, sharpen your vocabulary and gain insights into a language and culture. These people can also act like your personal language tutors, correcting perhaps mistakes that you did not pick up on before - so it’s a completely tailored experience to improving your language skills. You are also bound to meet people who are learning French too, giving you something in common with many of the people in Canada so you’ll always have something to talk about.
4. You’ll learn new colloquialisms
Unfortunately textbooks and formal lessons are not up to date with the French languages’ ever changing phrases. I remember being asked in German why I kept using set phrases like ‘for example’ and ‘actually’ all the time as it seemed too formal. But this was quickly knocked out of me when I spoke to the locals who were my own age. So, the best way to learn colloquialisms is to actually experience these phrases in real life - especially from people from the friendly locals.
5. You’ll pick up new skills
Learning a new language means meeting people and this creates the opportunity to do things together that you possibly weren’t able to do back at home. Pick a destination in Canada and you could get the opportunity to scuba dive or explore the forests, or you could find a new hobby for the rest of your life.You can pick up skills that will last a lifetime.
6. It makes a really good CV
Speaking of your career - learning a language abroad looks amazing on your CV and suddenly makes you a lot more employable. From being able to work independently in a new country, to demonstrating that you are proactive and actively seeking to further your skills. It shows you are able to dedicate yourself to something and focus on your goals. Combining this with solid ‘proof’ that you’re able to merge with new cultures and people from different backgrounds. With this, it suddenly makes you ten times more eligible for international positions within a company. This will allow you to travel and live in different countries across the world. I noticed that some of the highest paying jobs in Switzerland need substantial experience in a French speaking environment - so I guess that could make you suddenly the whole job description.
stand out from the crowd
7. Some amazing ‘life experience’
People often go on ‘gap years’ to find themselves and are left feeling let down when they didn’t have a moment of enlightenment on their trip. But, wherever you go in Canada it’s bound to be different from the UK. Living away from home is different in good and bad ways. By beating potential obstacles you could face it inevitably makes you a better and more tolerant person which is both exciting and enlightening and you’ll be able to handle challenging situations with more ease in the future.
8. There are some really beautiful locations in Canada
Why not take the stress out of learning a language? There’s no deadlines, no essays and no pressure. Canada has some really beautiful cities to live in and this alone can provide an amazing quality of life. Outdoor lovers would be ecstatic at Canada’s range of activities in such beautiful locations.This ensures a better and happier learning environment that one can only dream about in the UK.
9. It’s also all round just an amazing experience/excuse for travelling
Learning French in Canada can be like a massive holiday. Sure, you’re there for a distinct purpose but you also get to explore the beauty of what Canada has to offer as well as spend some time with friends and explore the Canadian lifestyle. Actually, Canada is so big there’s the entire country to be explored and it is one that you will not get bored in. So, my question is now : Why wouldn’t you want to learn French in Canada?