I have been trying very very hard to learn French over the past 8 years or so with little success. Strangely the limited amount of language I learnt at school some 40 years ago has stayed with me but I just can't seem to retain anything I am learning these days.
I have tried a GSCE French grammer course, Michel Thomas CD's which I've listened to over and over again. I struggle through dual language books, buy French newspapers (which take me a month to read!) and generally go through the dictionary trying to learn helpful words and phrases. On our regular visits I practice at every opportunity but I find it difficult to make myself understood and in turn I find understanding the replies impossible. It is becoming increasingly worrying for me because we are hoping to retire to France in 2 years time and it will be down to me to learn because my OH is rapidly losing his hearing.
Does anyone have any advice as to what has worked for them. Does it become easier once you are actually living in the country? Very few locals speak English so I am not able give up easily - its just very frustrating. I'm sure some people are just not geared up or intelligent enough to learn a new language and I'm one of them! Any advice would be much appreciated.
You can also buy DVDs of French films with English subtitles, which, even though the subtitles are not literal translations, give the sense of what is being said.
You can rewind and listen to bits you didn't understand, or just watch the same film repeatedly if it is a good one.
If you look for older films they are not expensive. For example we just bought a double pack of "Jean de Florette" and "Manon des Sources" for £9.42, including postage, from Amazon.
We bought it from Amazon UK, but it was posted from France, and arrived the following day!
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