Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Je Parle (Un Peu) Français!

It’s been about six months since I started my quest (I’m on a lot of quests this year…) for French fluency, and I’m so happy that I’ve stuck with it! I’m not taking classes so I’m completely accountable for myself, and I have to be my own motivation to boot. Admittedly, there are some days when reviewing French is a pain, but I know that it's important to practice daily. At least that's what all the foreign language instructors have said.

There have been a couple days where I skipped my review, but I did have a 160 day streak and now I’m on day 47 of another. I spend about 20-30 minutes with my Duolingo app each day, and although it doesn’t sound like much, I can feel the difference. I’m beginning to know that a sentence is wrong because it sounds wrong, the same way I know if something is grammatically incorrect in English. My vocabulary seems to be expanding slowly but surely as well!

There have been some lessons that have proven more difficult than others, like dreaded demonstratives (I don't understand when/why I must use celle, cela, celui, ceux, and celles) and also time. I’m hoping that since Duolingo makes you review your “trouble” spots until they’re not a problem anymore that I’ll figure it out.

Now that I’m beginning to feel more comfortable with French, I’m going to start trying to read French translations of books. It’s somewhat intimidating, but it’s a step in the right direction. Right? I also need to stop being a baby and start watching/listening to French more. I’ve slacked off in this area…

Fluency is still a long way off, but I’m happy with the progress I’ve made since the fall. I feel less like I'm reviewing and more like I'm building on that three semester foundation of mine. I do know that at some stage I’ll need to find a way to converse in French regularly, but I’m taking it one day at a time for now.

Although, pulling a Carrie from Paris in Four Months and moving to Paris does appeal to me just a little bit…

Do any of you have tips for learning French? Or any other foreign language?

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