Mir Abidur Rahman
Foreign Language Competency is a symbol of power, confidence and fortitude. Importance of having a good command over a foreign language is inexplicable. As a multi-disciplinary profession, Policing requires a firm grip over foreign language competency and proficiency. English is definitely the most prevailing foreign language in the context of Bangladesh. But, recently learning French language has become highly important and decisive for Bangladesh Police Personal due to the nature of UN Mission which is nowadays giving high emphasis over the French language competency. It requires honest dedication, appropriate time and decent effort to learn anything new and learning a new language like French will definitely taste & challenge the learner; especially if the learner holds one of the busiest professions of the world like Policing. But with due perseverance, will and effort, one can master over anything. Hence, some applicable & conducive tips of learning French language are being suggested over here to abate the hindrance of Police Personals who are enthusiastic to learn a completely new foreign language like French.
1. Always Study French with Audio
Written French and Spoken French are almost two different languages. Silent letters, liaisons, gliding and other phonetic features are quite prevalent in French verb conjugations and grammar. As French is not a phonetic language, the written and spoken French word will be seemed totally different most of the time. Here’s an example: “Beaucoup [boku] – many, a lot (of)”; in this example, the written word looks different to way in which it is pronounced. For this reason, it’s important to learn French with audio assistance so that one can get the pronunciation right. So learning French by only a written script can be quite futile. One needs to learn French along with the audio book or CD of the written scripts.
2. Learn French with Songs and Music
There’s a whole world of one’s favorite music genre waiting to be discovered in French. No matter what one enjoys listening to, there will be a French version. At first one can just enjoy the sounds, but soon he or she will start recognizing words and wanting to look up lyrics. It’s a fun way to approach French, and gives one some listening time to balance out the book work.
3. Watching French Movies
The French love their movies; so a fantastic way to immerse oneself in the culture and language is to learn French with movies. If one can’t fit in time to watch a whole movie, one can watch the news in French at YouTube. It is fun at the beginning to piece together the news stories from the images; then after some time one will be able to recognize common phrases and words.
4. Visualize French Words
It is highly important to enrich vocabularies in case of learning any language and French is no different in that sector. Though we often try to learn using only written text, many of us learn best using pictures. Whether it’s your preferred way of learning or something new, adding visuals to your arsenal is a great idea. One can visualize the pictorial image of any French word at his mind. If one is weak at creating mental images, he or she can use the Flash Card System. In Flash Card System, one will write the French word & its pronunciation at one side of the card and draw a picture of it along with the English meaning over the other side of the card. This will obviously take some time; but it will be very effective in the long run for remembering new French words.
5. Learn French in Sentences
It is effective to learn the new French vocabulary in a sentence. Like that, one will learn “in context” and one will be able to remember the situation and words longer. Moreover, one will already have a series of words that go well together handy for his or her next French conversation.
6. Learn French Phrases
Learning some French phrases can be very useful. Learn the most common phrases like “Good morning/ Bonjour “, “Goodbye/ Au revoir “, and “How are you/ Comment vas-tu “, so you can open and carry normal conversational topics.
7. Speak Out Loud
This may sound simple but speaking the words out loud is important to learn the correct pronunciation. A simple and fun way to learn pronunciation is to learn a song in French. There are many children’s songs that prove to be great tools for learning French pronunciation.
8. Don’t Try To Learn Everything = Prioritize
French is an extremely rich language with huge list of vocabularies. So, it is smart to prioritize which means it is effective to memorize words and sentences which are related to Policing and UN Mission as participating at French UN Missions is the key goal of Bangladeshi Police Personals. As an example, it is essential to learn Crime or Police related words like murder/ meurtre, Bullet/ Balle or the sentences which usually comes at the exams of UN Mission.
9. Try to Learn in pair
According to the linguists, it is important to practice verbally to become competent at any language. So it will be very helpful if one can able to converse with his or her fellow colleague in French time to time. Learning French in pair or in a group will help immensely as the learners will be able to converse with one another and they will be able to share their ideas and learning techniques.
10. Review – Repetition Is The Key
Learners often concentrate fully on learning new material and forget to review the older one. Rule of thumb is- for each hour spending to learn new thing, it is needed to spend minimum one hour reviewing the older things. Repetition is the prime key.
Lastly, it is absolutely essential to give required time to earn a good command over French language. It will be always difficult for any Police Personal to manage time due to the extremely busy nature of the job; but just by giving 30 minutes regularly at each day one can succeed to achieve the required standard of French or any other language at a short period of time.
Writer : Additional Superintendent of Police Muradnagar Circle, Cumilla.