How to say ‘I’m taking a French class’

Author: Camille Chevalier-Karfis

I hear many mistakes when students translate “I am taking a French class” in French. They tend to translate word by word from English, and unfortunately, it doesn’t work. I’ll give you many options to translate “French class” in French.

1 – Mistake translating French class in French

In French you cannot say “French class”. Your class is not French itself: it’s a class about the French language. “French class” is an idiom in English.

So translating word by word and saying: “une classe française” is a mistake.

2 – How to translate ‘I’m taking a French class’ in French

When you say ‘I’m taking a French class’, what you are really saying is that you are taking a class about the French language.

‘I take a French class = I take a class of French language’ = je  suis une classe DE FRANÇAIS.

On a side note, people have been pointing out that it should be “je suis un cours de français”, the class being the people, the course the content.

It may be a mistake, but it’s very common in French to say “une classe de français” for both people and content.

So here are a few possible translations to talk about your French class:

  1. “Je suis un cours de français” (of the verb “suivre”: ‘to follow’)
    I’m taking a French class
  2. “Je fais partie d’une classe de français”,
    I’m enrolled in a French class
  3. “J’adore ma classe/mon cours de français”,
    I love my French class
  4. “Je déteste ma prof de français”
    I hate my French teacher

In any case, to say “French” for a class, it’s “de français“, never “français/française”, which is my point :-)

More about how to translate French and France in French.

3 – How to translate ‘I study French’ in French

To say ‘I study French’, here is what you can say:

  1. “J’étudie le français”
    I study French
    The name of the language is “le français”, and it’s masculine.
  2. J’étudie la langue française
    I study the French language
    “La langue” being feminine, the adjective “française” is also in the feminine.
Author: Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Born and raised in Paris, I have been teaching today's French to adults for 23+ years in the US and France. Based on my students' goals and needs, I've created unique downloadable French audiobooks focussing on French like it's spoken today, for all levels. Most of my audiobooks are recorded at several speeds to help you conquer the modern French language. Good luck with your studies and remember, repetition is the key!

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