sparkleman in United Kingdom is doing 0 things including…

learn french

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sparkleman has written 17 entries about this goal

Deliriously happy

I said I would write this last post in French to complete this goal, but my feelings about it are too complex to get across in my new extra tongue (eeuw!).

I feel really proud of myself. I just finished listening to Michel signing off, just me and him without the two students I have been learning with, and I felt quite sad. I’ve listened to his voice nearly every day now for months. He’s got a very expressive voice, an old man’s voice, and knowing his life story, well… I feel I’ve gotten to know him in a weird way. I’m not making this up! He’s quite fatherly, a strict but kind-hearted teacher.

The grieving process will be eased by my knowing I can go and visit him whenever I want to :-) and in fact I will be going back to him quite a lot over the enxt few weeks as I prepare for our trip to Paris.

The best bits – being able to speak French in a proper French accent, the speed of learning, the way he explains the grammar and doesn’t worry at all about situations (like “In the cafe”, or “Buying a ticket”). I feel confident I can express myself now in any situation by patching my own sentences together, not by trying to remember set phrases.

The negatives – because these were CDs, there is a lot of speaking practice, a little listening, no writing and no reading. He spells things out, but it’s not enough. But that is a minor minor quibble. I knew that at the start.

The “learn french” thing will obviously go on forever, but I have achieved what I set out to do.

Je peux parler Francais. J’ai la confiance. Je veux apprendre plus. Et je peux diner en France et comprendre le menu! Je suis tres passionnant.

They say the final push is the hardest...

... and it’s true for this goal. I’m completely happy with all I’ve learnt from CD 1 right up to CD 6, then CD 7 I seem to have completely missed a chunk the first time around! When I came to review it I didn’t have a clue what he was talking about.

So the last few days I’ve gone back and recovered the ground, and now finally I am on the final CD. I’m very close. I want to finish this goal by the end of the week, and no shortcuts.

Getting closer

I’ve gone through the first review CD and I only got a couple of things wrong! 99% of it was spot on, so I know I’ll be able to make myself understood (even if I haven’t yet had any listening practice so I’ll have no clue what they’re saying back to me!).

I’m on to the final review CD now, which will also mean going though the last couple of CDs more thoroughly. I was getting lost towards the end there. One last push.

It’s interesting I’m so eager to finish this. Perhaps I want to finish what I’ve started so I can get on to more immediate issues – like sorting out my career :-) I don’t want to leave this hanging half-done, because that’s what the old me used to do.

Well, not sparkleman!

Future tense

CD 7 was pretty tough on my memory. I thought I got it, but when I tried on my own I couldn’t remember anything. I need to do it again perhaps – or push on and use the review CDs to cement it all together.

One more CD to go, then the 2 review CDs, and I will mark this as done – and write my final post in French :-)

After this I can “improve my french” and use it in Paris at the end of October. Very pleased with all I’ve achieved here.

un livre de vocabulaire

Losing track of all the verbs I’ve learnt, and even though MT says not to try to remember, that’s no use when I’m trying to order something in Paris and I’m stuck.

Je commence un livre de vocabulaire aujourd’hui.

CD 6 est complet

Je ne suis pas tres bien, me je suis amelioration. C’est travail difficile. Et ca preis un long temps por moi apprenez simple chose!

CD 5 bites the dust

I’m surprised I haven’t forgotten any of the lessons so far, since I’ve had a bit of a break from them. We’re going to Paris in 2 months, the end of October, so I’m re-discovering my passion for this. CD 6 here I come!

A little blocked

I’ve reached a bit of a block on the CD series – I’m caught a little on the “we” of verbs. It’s a confidence thing, and I don’t quite get it. Maybe it’s the pace of the CDs, but I’m not as sure of things now as I was at the beginning.

I’ll consolidate this week, perhaps make notes of my progress so far… although Michel does say explicitly not to do this.

Perhaps it’s my perfectionist streak – it’s okay not to get it exactly right :-)


My ambition is to write my closing entry on this goal in basic French. I’ve just finished CD 4 and I’ve uploaded CDs 5 and 6 to my iPod (which is the secret of my success – I learn as I walk places). So far it’s all present tense, which makes composing an entry difficult :-) so onwards!

CD 3 completed and CD 4 started

Have I said already this course is awesome? :-) I’m loving it. We’re putting all sorts of sentences together. Three months to the Paris trip, so plenty of time to practice.

sparkleman has gotten 7 cheers on this goal.


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