It;s the craziest thing. One day you just happen across something french on the internet, and suddenly you realize you actually totally understand what’s going on! I didn’t even have to think about it (much). Hooray! My advice to other people learning: take a break. Do something else. Let your brain just soak it in. Once it’s done, it’ll all just….click. Cheers, et bonne chance a tous qui est en train d’apprendre! 5 months ago
Entries from everyone
I’ve always loved languages and culture, but never made that leap to becoming fluent in a second language. After studying a bit of multiple languages, I’ve returned to the first language that I started studying (ok, just basic words, but still) when I was little. Any advice for working up from high beginner/low intermediate towards fluency, particularly for folks who aren’t living in French-speaking environments? One idea that I have is to start a French-only blog (e.g.- Tumblr) to practice! 6 months ago
Making a habit to email French-speaking friends en français.
Ordered Lonely Planet’s phrasebook. 14 months ago
My current Life List really reflects what I want out of life, because I’m actually focusing on the things that matter now. I’m no longer focusing on the past or the future, as I used to. I just want to create a powerful present. Through a lot of life lessons, it’s become clear to me which priorities I really care about and want to spend my time on, and where I want my life to go, especially over the next year.
I used to categorize things into 2 categories, ‘hard work’ and ‘fun stuff’. I’ve realized those categories are reductionist and unhelpful. They don’t take a lot of the picture into consideration, and confuse me into thinking that I have to spend a lot of time on boring stuff. The truth is, instead, what I realized recently: I enjoy doing work when it’s something I care about. In fact, the way I feel my best is through focusing on the challenging things that really matter to me a great deal, not through lounging on the couch.
I’m not exactly a “doer”- that’s someone else- but I am definitely a “thinker”: I love thinking things through and my thoughts gravitate towards the projects that are central to my life. So I need to work on those projects!
One of those projects that truly matters to me is becoming fluent in french.
I’m working it back into my schedule and making time for it, from now on, and feel great about that!!
French is enormously time-consuming, so that part is a little tricky, but I’m working it out. I’ve already tossed the inconsequential things off my schedule. I just have to make time for the French, and plug it into moments when I don’t feel like doing some other important thing, or don’t have strict deadlines ahead of me. I think we have a plan! 22 months ago
I’m not completely fluent but I’m functionally bilingual to the point where it has become a part of my identity now. 23 months ago
A few weeks ago, Rosetta Stone offered a ridiculously good coupon on Facebook, of all places, and so I took the bait and bought Rosetta Stone for French, all five levels. It was still about a $400 investment, but they let you pay for it over five months, so no sweat!
Happy to report, I have finished the first series on the level 1 disc, and have been logging into the program every day for a week! The majority of what I’ve been “learning” is really review since I took four years of french, but since it was so long ago, the brush up is much needed. The vocabulary was the first thing to come back, then the subtleties of pronunciation and finally grammar is kicking in.
The funny thing about all of this is, even though it’s technically “easier” to learn languages when you’re younger, I feel like I understand a lot more about learning French now that I’ve studied German and Italian as well. Before when it was so much drilling of phrases and memorizing words, the logic behind the syntax wasn’t sticking like it is now. So, I feel like I’m actually LEARNING French this time around instead of going on auto-pilot.
I’m hoping to get to use my French in the next couple years. My boyfriend would really like to visit England to see his extended family and perhaps apply for dual citizenship, and France is only a quick chunnel ride away! 2 years ago
I took french for three years and high school and one year in college. Last semester I went to a once a week meeting led by a french speaker. I would like to pursue fluency third to Mandarin and Arabic, so maybe this summer, only if my classes and Mandarin and Arabic are getting enough attention, I can add vocabulary to supermemo and use Pimsleur. Then, once I graduate, I will pursue a graduate program where I can study Russian as well and pursue higher fluency in the first three. But in that graduate program, I’d also like to do something with math… It’s an adventure!!! 2 years ago
I’ve spent the past three months in french classes at work and after one more class, I will be able to write my test in french for the government exam. If I pass that, I will cross myself off in having accomplished this list! I may not be able to take that course until March, 2012 but it will be a challenge to keep speaking it/working with grammar until then!
But, I’m happy that I now understand about 75% of whatever french people speak, and each day that can increase a little bit! 2 years ago