Liz asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 8 years ago

don't get how languages work? If I knew ZERO French & went to France for a year, would I pick it up?

At 25 years old, how can someone LEARN a language just by listening to it (with no classes ever)? I don't get it.

Update:

Mark - no, I don't know what those words mean.

and the context example doesn't apply because you figure out the word in question BASED ON KNOWING ALL THE OTHER WORDS. In France, I wouldn't know any of the other words.

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  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Depends what you mean by "pick it up." Would you know tidbits, phrases, idioms, simple words just from being exposed to the society, the culture? Probably. Would you be fluent. I'd calculate not. If you're concerned about not becoming fluent, I wouldn't sweat it. Maaaany, many french people know English. It's taught there in a lot of schools. If you are making a conscious effort to learn some of the language, the french people you're around will help you. You may not be able to recite the constitution in French after a year of sticking around, but you sure would pick up some things. It all comes down to who you interact with, your level of interest in the language and what your mission there is. France doesn't let just anybody straddle over and plop down for a year to "pick up the language" if you're there for work or on a student visa you will be around people who will integrate you and you perforce will have the language start sewing itself in you.

  • .
    Lv 4
    8 years ago

    I went to Canada (Montreal) for a year when I was 8-9, knowing zero English and zero French. When I came back after a year, my English was pretty good (for a 9 year old foreigner), and I learnt a little bit French. I could understand what French people said to some extent, but I couldn't speak fluently. However I could speak English fluently and I also learnt to write English.

    I'm 16 now and I remember little if anything from French, but that is because I didn't use the language after I came back to my home town.

    So the point is, if I could learn French and English in 1 year at 9 without any previous knowledge by just living in Canada, then you could definitely learn French in 1 year by living in France. But it is very important that you use that language after you go back home in case you don't want to forget the language. I very much regret not using French language and forgetting it.

    Hope This Helped

    Source(s): Personal Experience
  • 8 years ago

    You could probably pick it up if you hung around French people, watched T.V in French, and were exposed to zero English for a while but it would be a long and difficult process. It's easier to at least take a course for the basics, most of which you can get for free, and then immerse yourself in the culture.

  • 8 years ago

    No, you must have the beggining of French knowledge to speak it correctly.

    For example, if you go one year in China you won't speak chinese necessarily

    (Even if in French you can find similar word to English)

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  • Mark
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    Yes, you can pick it up. You know by context what certain words in English that you never have heard before mean, don't you?

    You asked, I answered.

    You know absolutely NO French? So you've never heard "garage", "tete-a-tete", "aperitif", and hundreds of other words before?

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