My First Real-Life Experience with French
I just arrived back from my trip to Disneyland Paris and since there are no other people that actually care about language learning that I personally know of, I'm just going to bother the Duolingo community :))The way to France was nothing special, I live in the middle of the Netherlands, which means that first I need to cross the border to Belgium and then go all the way through Belgium to the French border. (Thank Goodness for the open borders.) It took us about 4 hours and 15 minutes for the 500km way. When we arrived at our hotel, which is btw the Sante Fe hotel for all those Disneyland fans, the security checked our car (for drugz becuz imma get high all the time :)) after he greeted us with ''Bonjour'' fangirl scream. During our time in the park, I heard all kinds of languages, English, German, Dutch, French, Italian but a lot of Spanish too, even some East-Asian languages. Whenever I was waiting in line and there was someone who spoke French I tried to understand what they were saying, I could understand some words but I could not understand the conversation at all. But the signs of the shops was something that I had almost no problems with. This only encouraged me to be more active with language learning, because being as lazy as I am is not a good thing for learning a foreign language.
I am happy to hear about your positive experience. Did you say anything in French? I remember when I went to France - and being hopelessly shy - the only things I managed to utter in French were the number of my hotel room and l'addition, s'il vous plaît. :(
It amuses me that you're learning French voluntarily. At the university of Antwerp, we often get Dutch students commuting over the border who get absolutely show-stopped by a single compulsory French course, which involves a difficult written exam and a fifteen minute presentation on a serious topic. It's meant to refresh a Belgian's eight year long history of French classes in elementary and high school, but most of the Dutch students went into it without a clue. If only they'd known about Duolingo!
Anyway, congrats on your first exposure to the French language. You won't even have to go that far next time - there's plenty of French being spoken in Brussels!
I was just the same to begin with. But I started to make real progress when I was brave enough to talk with someone rather than just listen to others. When you engage in a conversation you are setting and re-setting the context all the time, and this helps both listening and speaking. Also, contrary to what many British people think, most French people are delighted that you are trying to speak their language, and they will help you along. Honestly, be brave, and you will find out how quickly your skills will improve.
If only I would have the opportunity to casually interact with people in french every day. I was in London last month and managed to speak super basic french with a group of 6 middle-aged/senior native frenchmen, and they were very friendly and open. I even mixed up au revoir with aujourd'hui (lol so cringeworthy), but after I found this site I've learned so much, I'm mad at how I ignored the DuoLingo app on my phone for so long (I thought it was like other services where you'd have to pay after the intro). I'll find them some day and show them my improvements lol
Thanks! But I don't think I will visit France or any French speaking place soon...
i agree, i have a french student staying with us for a year. he is SO helpful in helping us with our french.;]
Cool! I try to understand as much as I can when I hear people speak French in town.
When i hear people speaking french, I try to understand........ but can't ):
I was in France recently, but only for one day. I was far too shy to say anything apart from greetings. Hopefully I'll return someday soon, and work up the courage to actually speak the language :') Only when I was there did I realise how self conscious I am about my pronunciation.
"the security checked our car (for drugz becuz imma get high all the time"
Well, I mean, weed is legal in the Netherlands...
Also the fact that you can drive across 2 countries in 4 hours and 15 minutes is absolutely mind-boggling to us Americans. That'll get you across a couple states.
I'm happy to hear that! How was Disney Paris? Did you get any French pastries? Like macaroons? Sorry if I'm asking to much. I've always wanted to go to Paris!~JLIM
Disneyland was great! I have been dreaming about it since I was 5, but I haven't tried any French food. (Not even a croissant or baguette.)
omg Nielzke23 i have just noticed how many languages you are doing. keep it up!
If you ever make it go to Disney World in Florida! It is great! We have passes and go all the time!
i went to avignon in france last year with my parents and grandparents i tried to understand as much as possible but it was all spoken to quickly most of the time to understand. but if any of you guys and girls are going to france i would seriously suggest going to avignon.
This summer I went to Paris with my family for 10 days. I am from the USA. We stayed in an AirB&B and it was an apartment on the fifth floor with no elevator. I have been learning French on Duolingo for over a year. I could read information around Paris quite well and that made me happy. Understanding was very difficult and so was speaking. I forced myself to ask questions, order pastries etc, but it wore me out. I was happy to learn a few simple French phrases while in Paris and that was so nice. Being around the language helped me pick up some helpful phrases. I would love to go back. I must find a way to speak and listen, but am not sure how to do that when I am in a small city in the middle of the country.
Have you considered finding a Podcast with French conversations? Also, have you tried MeetUp? There are a few French MeetUp groups where you can meet and just listen if you're too shy to speak. I haven't gone to one yet....I'm a beginner and do not know much :) I would LOVE to go to Paris. Your trip sounds wonderful!
Hi)) Have u got some problems with understanding plural forms? Actually I had. For example, le livre les livres.
Good for you! Even if you couldn't catch every word it doesn't mean you're not making progress. I have been fluent in French for 12 years and even I have trouble sometimes. Just be sure to keep up on your practicing! Even after you become fluent. That old saying if you don't use it you lose it is true, trust me! I have no one to practice my French with either so I try to remind myself by watching shows like The Simpsons and Sailor Moon in French every once in a while. The most important thing is to have fun with it right? So find something else in that language you like (eg. a band, television show, book....) and use that to help you learn. Right now I am learning Japanese and using bands like Momoiro Clover Z and One Ok Rock to help me. (P.S. I totally recommend these bands if you aren't learning Japanese and just enjoy music :P lol)