Last night I went for a dinner party with my french language buddy. He’d arranged it so I could get used to being in environments with french people in a group instead of just one on one. I was nervous all week. When I meet people for the first time, I can be quite shy and he’d spoken about inviting around four of his friends.

As it was, he decided to only invite one. It was quite apparent why, since his flat was quite tiny, so with his friend and flatmate, it would have been cramped with yet more people. I have to say, it was a nice evening. His flatmate and friend were lovely, very chatty and so I didn’t feel shy. His work colleague and friend was ridiculously cute. I was even thinking how I could set him up with a friend, until he mentioned his girlfriend. Always the way.

So, the disappointment? I spoke maybe three sentences in french.

When they spoke, I could just about understand what they were saying. Not everything, but enough to get the gist of things and it was much harder listening to his flatmate who speaks  with a heavy accent as he’s from Guatemala. Its the first time I’ve been able to pick out the difference in accents. But when it came to me speaking, I reverted to english. It was mostly because I speak so slowly in french that it would ruin the flow of conversation but even while I was speaking, I was thinking to myself ‘speak french you bloomin fool!’. So, I feel a bit deflated. I wanted some practice.  I love conversing in french but I need to build my confidence, especially if I’m going to meet The Frenchman’s friends, some of whom speak zero english. I don’t know why I stop myself. My tutor at work assures me that whilst I don’t always use the correct words or tenses, I’m perfectly understandable. I dunno. I kinda wish I could go back to last night and make more of a concerted effort.

Massive, enormous sigh.


7 thoughts on “Disappointment

  1. Apart from your disappointment, that’s a great way to learn a new language by being exposed to others (more than 1) in a group setting. Worst way possible is Roseta Stone.

    French is pretty easy for me. I was fluent in it about 10 years ago but dropped it and picked up Spanish, which I’ve been fluent in over the past 8 years.

    I’m also fluent in Arabic (standard, Lebanese and Syrian dialects).

    Learning languages is my pass time ever since a little kid.

    Arabic was the first second language I studied (at age 16).

    If you ever need some tips on learning (French, etc.), let me know.

    As for speaking, don’t really focus on tense too much. Make errors. Remember that the average speaker isn’t speaking perfectly anyways, so you can afford to make mistakes with the tenses. Which tense are you having problems with (in French)?

    • I did rosetta stone levels 1-5, actually found it really good, though I used other tools too. I watch a lot of French films, tv5 monde and listen to the radio. Plus I have two hour long lessons per week. I think in isolation it’d be pretty crap though.

      It’s not so much the tenses but the verb conjugations for nearly all verbs. The verb ‘faire’ is what I struggle with the most, and since its one of the most common, its not great!!

      I make a lot of errors all the time lol but you’re right about natives not always using the correct ways of speaking

  2. It’s so hard – I used to go to french circle with a family friend when I did A-level, and it was so intimidating talking, constantly fearful of getting it wrong! It’s just taking the plunge I guess. Maybe drink more wine? Removes the nerves! x

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