YEAH! finished my French tree!!
i am so happy to have completed the whole french tree-it's taken me 118 day streak+52 day streak before that-missed one day between!! duo lingo says have achieved 61% fluency, which i understand is pretty high for duolingo! have now started the reverse french/english tree, will redo french tree, and doing audio and reading exercises elsewhere. getting my courage up to skype speak to someone in french to develop conversational skills!! this has been a goal of mine for many years-to be come reasonably fluent in french. I'm 61 years old, and have loved french since started taking it in the 8th grade! my grandfather was from france and came to america when he was five. His parents died shortly after-he was raised by a distant cousin in america, and so did not remember any of his french (went to france in WWI, but still didn't recall any french). I learned french partly in his honor and because i think it is a beautiful language-and country! Vive la France!!
I finished my French tree some time ago, and then did the whole thing again backwards.
I then planned a holiday in Brittany where I hoped to be able to use my embryonic French.
It was very exciting to be able to read and understand many of the road signs I saw on the long coach journey.
In Honfleur with a friend we then went shopping, and I loved the friendly way we were always greeted both on entering and leaving shops. Until my ears rang with, 'Bonjour madam.'
Tired and utterly exhausted we looked for a cafe.
Finding one by the quay we entered.
"Bonjour madam," I finally dared to say in what I hoped was impeccable French.
There was a moment of frosty silence.
"Bonjour monsieur!" the affronted waiter corrected.
And of course being a vegetarian only made matters worse.
thanks so much. love your story! we both love french and have struggled to learn it, but using it in speaking-it's a whole other thing!! can relate-when in france, i quickly go thru the pleasantries of "bonjour madame, ça va bien", etc-then i get asked a question in rapid french and i give them the deer in headlights look as i desperately try to translate in my head, and come up with an answer!! then i answer in my best toddler level spoken french! i would be better off if i carried a notepad around and had them write their question and i wrote back my responses!! i hope to work on that now with the skype lessons. we will both keep up our wonderful attempts to plant french in our brains!!
I do hope my story made you chuckle.
I plan to visit again, and will keep practising here and elsewhere, but yes with a notepad I am sure I might be understood.
I think the problem for me is I need time to untangle meaning from a spoken sentence (that is if I have managed to deduce what the spoken words were in the first place) but of course, by this time any native speaker is already onto their tenth sentence in a continuing stream of dialogue.
My 'deer in the headlights' expression was caught on many photographs after uttering, 'Bonjour Madame.'
What are the Skyke lessons?
You could consider a step in between talking to a native on skype and doing impersonal Duo exercises : check the "sentences" section in the forums for both courses (French course for English speakers et English course for French speakers) and try to help learners with what you know already. It's easier to just write than to speak (you have all the time in the world to check your words in dictionaries). There's no better way to learn something than to teach it!
Merci beaucoup to all for your encouraging congratulations-i have so enjoyed learning with duo lingo and being part of this amazing community of people who are learning how to communicate with others, and who donate much time and energy to helping others along. It is a great way to help in building a better, more understanding world for us all to live in. we are improving our minds and spirits-and paving a way to peace.