French Language

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Re: Hopeless!

I always find that their English improves with the more effort I put into speaking (poor) French.
"There are some causes worth dying for - there are no causes worth killing for" Albert Camus
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Re: Hopeless!

Once we had had the good sense to move somewhere in France, where no one spoke english, then my french improved. That new friends who are now very old friends subsequently were found many years later, to have more than a smattering is just how it should have been.

And translating as one speaks and learns?

 Don't the words we 'know' just come naturally and the rest well, initially we translate, but then as we learn more they are simply part of our vocabularly too. Isn't that how we learn?

I cannot remember doing other than that, and frankly because of our quick move to France and no french apart from a very few words, I'm sure that I wasn't translating every last word all the time. Maybe the old memory is failing?



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Re: Hopeless!

Like in so many other aspects of life some people take to things naturally - learning to speak French for instance - whilst others will never get it however hard they might try.

You can liken it to driving a car, some are complete naturals from the moment they first sit in the drivers seat and pass their test first time on their 17th birthday with little or no formal training while others take years, spend thousands in lessons,  fail the test multiple times, and then are still crap drivers even when they do eventually fluke a pass.

We are all different and as well intentioned and genuine the advice here is it's completely subjective and ultimately you have to find what what works for you.

One thing is beyond question, if you plan to stay in France speaking the lingo is an absolute must.

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Re: Hopeless!

99.999% of people are complete naturals at learning their first language.

Babies and children never say, I give up, its much harder for me than other people, they are born with a survival instinct.

I firmly believe that if a man (or woman) is hungry enough they will find a way to eat.

And for the remaining 0.001%

Like 99% of like people are like complete naturals like at like learning their like first language like innit?


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Re: Hopeless!

But I'm in no way a natural, it was hard. I soon learned the key words, but getting them into a sentence took me a long time and some might say and with reason that I still haven't mastered it even half properly.

Big Smile [:D]  And if you insist on mentioning food, well, I certainly knew all the key words for food rather quickly, so you are right there!

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Re: Hopeless!

I want to thank you all for your really supportive emails - several suggestions are new to me and I will definitely be giving them a go.  I think trying to get the gist of what is being said is spot on and I will also try this in future rather than beating myself up because I'm not understanding the whole conversation. 

Your comments have made me feel more positive about my ability (maybe I do know more than I think I do) and will try and enjoy learning French rather than thinking of it as a chore.  We are spending an extended holiday over there this summer so will get the radio on in the background and listen to a few news channels!!

Thanks again all; its nice to know its not just me!


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Re: Hopeless!

Hi----I appreciate your problem : I was hopeless at French A Level at school, my worst A level subject.

When we moved to France 4 years ago, all my old memories of the grammar and sentence structure came back ; and vocabulary came faster than I had imagined.

My wife spoke no French at all, not even at school.

The brief answer to your question , in our humble opinions , is  : move to France and if you mix with locals daily you'll be fluent within 6 months if you've had any A Level experience; and within 12 months if you've never learned any French previously.

The best way to master the language----the ONLY way-----is to live in France full-time.

And isn't it a beautiful language ? Smile [:)]


Wish we could have moved to La Belle France earlier in life. But better late than never.
Bon courage !
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Re: Hopeless!

Ah, if only it were that simple......
Don't want to end up a cartoon in a cartoon graveyard.
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