I FINISHED my tree! Here's me "speaking" French.

It's time! I've finished it!


Here's me trying my hand at spontaneously improvising something:

Well, actually, I finished last night. But I just got the opportunity (and courage :P) to go try to make a fool of myself, right here, right now, online, for all to hear.

I know there are tons of mistakes. Please don't laugh at me!


What do you think?

P.S.: Constructive criticism on pronunciation would be very well appreciated.


January 9, 2016


Honestly, your pronounciation is very good, well done for mastering the terrible "r". You said it yourself, your speaking isn't perfect but you won't have trouble to be understood in France.

Have you ever took some french courses outside of Duolingo ? Because I must admit that it's very impressive. Anyways, congratulations, take some lingots ! Keep it that way, I hope that you'll inspire other learners.

January 9, 2016

Thank you :) I sweated buckets before opening your reply, thankfully it wasn't a warning to never come to France lest I be booed out of the country. :P

I had French in high school, but would not even have been able to ask when breakfast was at a hotel in France, nor for directions. And prior to DuoLingo I hadn't even tried that in 10 years.

I took no other courses this past month, was purely online, but I did get (download) a few reference books for grammar, which I looked into for explanations on verb tenses and some other small details. I used Anki in the beginning for training (DuoLingo's) vocabulary. And of course plenty of Google searches and dictionaries.

And thank you, the ''r'' took me a long while. Sometimes it still skips, but in general I don't have to think about it too much anymore. :) Now I just need the nasals to become natural. I'm getting there.

Hopefully I can find some natives at some point to critique and help me perfect my pronunciation. Grammar I can study on my own, but my own voice I can only do so much to perfect without knowing what mistakes I'm making exactly...

January 9, 2016

If you want to talk to Natives, go on it's free

January 9, 2016

I did not know that site, I will check it out. Nice tip.

January 10, 2016

No problem.

January 10, 2016

Good job then, I'm glad for you !

January 9, 2016

Thanks :-}

January 9, 2016

D'accord, il n'a très bon , je dois dire .

January 11, 2016

Aaah, vive le ne explétif. :')

Merci de le dire, c'aide (?) me motiver.

January 12, 2016

perhaps: Ça m'aide de devinir motivé

January 12, 2016

As doostrunk said, nice r ! I also noticed that your u is closer to the French pronunciation than the ou sound most English speakers make, so good job on that as well :)

It's really easy to understand you, so next time you meet a native speaker, don't worry! You're perfectly capable of being understood.

I noticed a recurrent mistake, which is the use of il instead of ça. When you're talking about general things (ex: "it pays off", "it went faster than I thought"), use the ça in the first case, c'est (ça+est) in the second, it will be better :)
Also, the literal translation of "my name is" (mon nom est) is correct grammatically speaking, but not natural. Go with je m'appelle instead.
Your little hesitation at the end: si vous travaillez, the present tense is enough, no need to complicate things ;) And the expression you were looking for is travailler dur.
And finally, for the translation of "it pays off", I'd say le travail / ça finit par payer, so you were close. You said le travail va se payer, erase the se and your expression can work as well :)

It may look like a lot, but it's really not. Those mistakes don't prevent you from being understood at all. You've got a good level, now it is time to perfect it. Bon courage pour tout!

January 9, 2016

Thanks, very helpful! Good to know I'm understandable. Now I just need to find out how to increase fluidity in my speaking, so people aren't forced to be too patient with me to listen. There are things that are basic and I know well how to say, yet I still seem to speak in ''units'' of words instead of sentences, if that makes sense :P

Great tip on the il/ça thing, b.t.w., I didn't know! I read somewhere through pages and pages of research that ça was kind of at an informal register, so I guess I (mistakenly) subconsciously eliminated it from my speech.

the present tense is enough, no need to complicate things

Haha, very good point. I'll remember that!

Merci de tes paroles. :)

January 9, 2016

Ça is indeed the informal contraction of cela, but everyone uses it in oral speech, cela sounds far too formal, almost pedantic. So don't worry about using ça at all ;)

I completely understand the "speaking in units" thing, that's also normal and logical when speaking a foreign language. Oral speech is the most difficult part of language learning in my opinion (and experience ^^). You'll get better with practice!

De rien, et encore une fois, bon courage :)

January 9, 2016

Hello, I was impressed by your courage in having a go. Well done. It is something I hope to emulate someday. I will think of you sweating buckets and jump right in. Give that man a medal.

January 9, 2016

I will think of you sweating buckets and jump right in

It's the only way!

Thank you. :)

January 9, 2016

Very well done!

"Si vous travaillez dur aussi, ce sera payant". - I assume you were looking for this.

January 9, 2016

I assume you were looking for this.

...I believe you! :P

(I'll be researching the participe présent \&/vs. gérondif after I gain a better understanding on usage of à\au\en\de\des\du\que\qui\y\etc.)

The concept in my head was something along the lines of: ''If you were to work hard enough as well, it would pay off at the end''

Thank you. You are definitely part of the ''DuoLingo'' I thanked at the end, I hope you know. ;)

January 9, 2016

Well done! Every learner looks like a fool at first, so don't worry about it and keep practicing. You're already very good :)

January 9, 2016

Très gentil, merci. :)

January 9, 2016

Well done. Bien fait? Am just beginning my own journey of return, after a twenty year hiatus from college French. You sound wonderful. Also, as long as I'm here, I'm curious if anyone pronounces 'oui' as 'way.' I often hear it like this. A young, slangy thing, or common with everyone? But - back to the point, ArdeJohnson - you rock.

January 11, 2016

That's really exciting, how far were you able to get in college? I think the second time around will probably be better, it's a sign that even after all these years you've discovered there's a part of you that genuinely feels something for that language. Kind of reinforces the whole "it's never too late" thing. You said college, so you are/were probably at a higher lever than I was when I started here, but I know I always did secretly lament never having gotten to the point where I can speak it.

Bien fait?

I have no clue, but the advantage is, with us beginners, it makes perfect sense. We don't know any better. ;)

As far as the 'oui' thing goes, obviously a native speaker can give you a better answer (you might consider a new thread, b.t.w.), but from the little I've been able to see, it is informal, but not extremely.

First off, I always heard it pronounced as "weh" not "way", kind of like "yeah" in English, but I assume we mean the same thing. I've heard/seen it (in media) mostly in familiar situations, but I also heard it in an interview within a documentary of the famous, internationally successful francophone Belgian artist Stromae (here, but I'm not sure it'll play in your country, nor do I remember the timestamp)) while he was doing an interview and speaking seriously about his craft.

Usually that doesn't say much with creative types, but his demeanor was that of a polite, neat, reserved/quiet/sensitive, and well-behaved man, as he is, and he spoke about the deeper meaning in his music, etc., so if he did it there, it should be fine in most contexts. He's relatively young, too, though, but was talking to an older man in a suit. He said it as they got to a point where the interviewer understood/confirmed something he was explaining, so it seemed like he "bonded" or "liked him" at that moment.

It's so common I've even seen its own spelling: ouais before. I interpret it exactly the same as the English: "yeah". Probably to be avoided if you're the Queen or work in customer support, otherwise, used sparingly...? :P

Anyway, I went on to rant even though I told you I have no credentials. Sorry about that. Good luck with your studies, and thanks so much for the compliment. =D

January 11, 2016

Thanks for the lengthy explanation. And yes, I did mean 'weh,' which is closer to how it sounds than 'way.' Likely I won't be using it this summer when I travel to France as it denotes a kind of fluency with the language that I simply don 't have. However, at one time I was fairly decent, having studied it for eight years and then working as an au pair one summer in Paris and Nice. But when one doesn't have practicing opportunities, it all sort of fades away. And all sort of comes back!! I think Duolingo is incroyable as a free site - am also studying with Frantastique for a monthly fee for six months. I did look up 'bien fait' and it does, in fact, mean well done. Just appeared out of the dim recesses. Another thing - after graduation, I moved to Puerto Rico where I lived for five years. Everyone said I spoke Spanish with a French accent, and now....when I practice, I find that Spanish words pop in when they ought not to! Anyway, since I work freelance, am hoping to find a way to spend three months a year in France, and become fluent. I look forward to more audios from you, unless you have completed the whole program, and then -- Bonne chance!

January 11, 2016

I did complete the DuoLingo program, although that doesn't mean I've mastered everything. For example the subjunctive mood had no explanation and only something like 2-4 practice rounds. I'm redoing a few exercises here and there and using the forums for extra questions, but I'm actively putting effort into finding out how to continue improving elsewhere so I can migrate.

It's a bit tough. Obviously I can't just open up a dictionary and learn whatever.

Everyone said I spoke Spanish with a French accent, and now....when I practice, I find that Spanish words pop in when they ought not to!

I did that with Spanish as I was starting, too.

...I have no idea why.

I haven't even spoken it in years.

I would go: "Est-ce que..." for when the Spanish are thinking and say "es queeeeee..." (you know, the Spanish equivalent of the English "uhhhh...."). -_-

Still when I talk I tend to add the French "que" anytime Spanish would add a "que".

When I'm speaking and reach a point where I need a French word I haven't learned yet, all of a sudden, the Spanish one comes up.

Mind you, I don't even think in Spanish or read anything in it, EVER, and haven't for also more than 10 years! o_O (Except for some 5 years ago when I vacationed in Spain, and yes, it's true, everything does come back within the first week of being there, it's really funny.)

Hah, oh well. Glad I'm not alone. :)

I'd love to post more audios in the interest on getting feedback on accent/pronunciation, but the truth is most people who are on these forums are looking to learn, and like myself, starting from scratch, so unfortunately I have no good reason to post some more again, even if it is fun practice to try.

Bonne chance à vous aussi.

January 11, 2016

Bien joué! C'était génial! Félicitations ! I'm astonished on how well you've done. Not many people could do that, especially learning online. I would work on your pronunciation a bit more, but a native speaker could understand you pretty well, like myself. Very nice job on your "R's", many people struggle with that! Great job and keep up the work! Hopefully if you visit France one day you'll try out your french ;) I'm sure we'll understand you? Is this all that you used to help you?

January 11, 2016

Merci bien! :D I put a lot of time into the R to get it to where it is. ;) Après toutes ces bons paroles au-dessus, je crois que je dois le fêter officiellement. :P

Do you have any tips on what other aspects of my pronunciation I could work on in order to improve?

Yes, I used strictly DuoLingo to guide my entire learning trajectory, and I used online dictionaries and a grammar reference on the side to assist when necessary. I wrote about it in the top comments if you'd like to know more. :)

I'm still working on it, but am having a tough time figuring out what the best way to continue from here on out is, though.

January 12, 2016

Voici quelques conseils en parlant... That I use when teaching my students. c before e or i sounds like s ceci (this) c elsewhere it sounds like k car (coach) ç sounds like s ça (that) ch sounds like 'sh' château (castle) g before e or i sounds like s in 'measure' général (general) g elsewhere sounds like g in 'go' gare (station) h is silent hôtel (hotel) j sounds like s in ‘measure' je (l) qu, q sound like k qui (who) r is pronounced at the back of the throat; it is quite similar to the sound we make when are gargling. rire (to laugh) s at the beginning of a word sounds like s salle (room) s between two vowels, it sounds like z

January 12, 2016

Well, the rate at which you did it is simply incredible (follow this guy, he blew through the exercises in a couple weeks). I think you are very gifted at this.

Stalking to get motivation.

January 9, 2016

Well, I'm probably not at a disadvantage I'd say, at all, but most of this is just a lot (and I mean a lot) of practice. I've been eating, sleeping, dreaming, breathing French 24/7. I researched IPA, took notes, cumulatively spent probably hours on one single word sometimes (invention, mensonge, heureux) or letter (ʁ...), and got frustrated sometimes but took a break and got right back to it.

Not everyone will have the amount of time I did at the moment to put into studying, but with the same effort I think almost anyone could do the same... If not they need some help finding out how to study! :)

Stalking is a-okay by me. :P I did however finish my tree, and wish to get French to a passable level before starting on something else meaning I'll have to venture outside DuoLingo for a while.

Thanks for your reply, that's motivation for me to keep going as well. :)

Good luck!

January 9, 2016

Bonjour. Je suis un femme

January 9, 2016

Bonjour! Je suis un homme. Vous êtes une femme. Nous sommes des gens. Et comme ça, vous avez parlé français!

January 10, 2016

Bonsoir, je m'appelle "Shellie". Ça va? I'm a beginner at best, and learning French whilst juggling Spanish in school isn't the easiest XD. Your determination and your hard work inspires me! Merci beaucoup!

January 10, 2016

Tout le plaisir est pour moi! ;)

The more people succeed the more fun we bi-, trilinguals and polyglots will have. Don't give up! In a year, you'll be happy you started work today. :)

January 10, 2016

Very well done - bon travail!

January 9, 2016

You are brave and did quite well. Congratulations.

January 10, 2016

it's really good! I would never be able to say that! I could only under stand some soooo...... my french is way worse. :)

Au Revoir! - RealFionnuala

January 10, 2016

We were all there at one point... Don't give up! I sure won't...

January 10, 2016

thx so much plus you did well

January 10, 2016

Very impressive!! And brave!

January 10, 2016

Courageux et heroïque! I wouldn't dare to improvise in French like you did. Well done!

January 10, 2016

=) Thank you.

January 10, 2016

aw, congrats! :D

January 10, 2016

that was really impressive. although your pronunciation wasn't proffesional, it was pretty good

January 11, 2016

Thank you. :) If you have any tips on that pronunciation, they're welcome. :)

January 12, 2016


January 12, 2016

Salut Arde !

Très bon travail, félicitations !

Si vous permettez, j'aimerais bien vous corriger une petite erreur dans votre enregistrement. Dans votre cas, on dit : le deuxième point et pas le second point.

  • Lorsque il y a trois points (ou objets... ) ou plus, on dit : le premier point, le deuxième point, le troisième point...

  • Lorsque il n y a que deux points (ou objets... ), on dit : le premier point et le second point.

Je vous souhaite une bonne continuation !

January 14, 2016

Merci, KManer!

Les conseils (en général) me plaisent beaucoup. Excusez-moi du retard [pour/de/à] répondre. Votre note m'a aidé.

January 20, 2016

De rien Arde ! ça me fait plaisir.

Oui moi aussi. J'aime bien les conseils, surtout, avec de bonnes manières :)

Si vous me permettez, une petite aide conçernant votre phrase. On peut dire : - Excusez-moi pour le retard à répondre.

A bientôt !

January 20, 2016

Merci. Je me le demandais :)

À bientôt. :)

January 20, 2016

Hi, cool stuff! i can't wait to finish my french!!!!!!!

December 28, 2016
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