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Published August 2nd 2018
Vive la French language! (by PourquoiPas / Public Domain)
If French explorers had the wind in their sails, they might have colonised Australia, with Vegemite on croissants instead of toast.
French, one of the official languages of the United Nations and the Olympic Games, is natively spoken by approximately 75 million people, largely in France, Belgium and Quebec in Canada.
While that's dwarfed by the English language, with over 310 million native speakers, Francophiles would argue quality over quantity. Joan of Arc, Andre the Giant, Coco Chanel and Brigette Bardot are their A-list examples.
You don't need to lead a religious revolution, wrestle with Hulk Hogan, star in an iconic film or dazzle the world's catwalks to speak their language. Once you've learnt to parle Français, your reward is classic French cinema on SBS without subtitles, impressing your date at a romantic French restaurant, or winning a debate on the best cheese with a fromager.
With centuries of French literature, visual and performing arts to inspire you, Sydney is now dotted with various options to learn the language of love.
There are non-profit community colleges, French cultural institutions, private training colleges, and university short courses available across the city. Try one of these options to speak, read and write in French.
Touch the French language (by Vincent Lock / CC BY 2.0)
CBD, Chatswood - Alliance Française de Sydney
The French Embassy is the French HQ in Australia but Alliance Française de Sydney is the spiritual home of French culture. The centre has been promoting Franco-Australian relations for over 100 years and offers French language courses.
Options for adults and children include general, traveller, conversation or focused classes. Choose your own pace to complete the 32-hour courses, from either twice-weekly sessions, fast-paced intensives of 8 hours/week or easy-going courses at 2 hours/week.
There are morning and evening sessions on weekdays and Saturday morning classes available. There are new intakes year-round and prices start at $362 for the traveller course.
If French culture fascinates you, enjoy the centre, where regular art and social events are hosted and French cuisine is served.
Most local libraries host an excellent language learning section, with books, CDs, DVDs and audiobooks for self-study at home.
Membership to your library is free. Flash an ID to get a library card and you can begin borrowing these keys to France.
LCF Fun Languages
LCF Fun Languages operates pre-school, childcare centre, kinder, Montessori, and before and after-school language learning centres across Australia. Operating throughout Europe, Australasia, South America and Asia, LCF started teaching languages in 1985 in a natural style to complement the gift children have for language learning.