I've been trying to learn French for a few years now, slightly over 3 years, and over the course of those years I concentrated on French for a long period of time then lost interest and the cycle continues.
My question is, how do I get motivated again. Everything that I've used to motivate me before doesn't motivate me anymore. I tried joining the clubs, where they're competing for XPs, but that lost its touch as well especially once I noticed I was focusing more on the XP at times instead of learning French.
Any advice? Suggestions?
P.S. I know it's not posted in the French section, I feel like all language learners can relate to this and offer advice.
For me, the motivation comes and goes, so if you find the answer, let me know. I have come to realize that I will never probably be fluent in Spanish. The level of fluency that I expected I could attain before I started learning languages I now realize is impossible without much more work than I am willing/able to put in.
One thing I used to do, but have quit doing is watching French and Spanish movies on netflix, with subtitles in French and Spanish (with the subtitles in English, I just read them and ignore the language I am supposedly trying to learn.)
I totally agree with the advice that someone else has mentioned here: to join a French speaking meet up group in your area, or find a French speaking partner. If there isn't a meet up in your area, perhaps you can start one. Meeting people who speak your target language in real life is a great way to make friends and improve your confidence in using the language while motivating you to get out and have fun. Yes, I'm sure people can relate to what you are going through. It's normal. Sometimes the motivation is lost for weeks, months and even years. Don't worry, it happens and there is nothing wrong with giving it a break. For now, if you are not interested and it is not fun anymore, then try something else. From my own experience, I had tried learning French over a decade ago...then lost interest. Since I have discovered Duolingo last year, the motivation is back. But it is a slow burn, because my priority is to improve my Spanish, then I got side tracked with Russian, then Japanese, and just recently Korean.☺ Improving French is still on my to do list...eventually ☺ so I am not concerned that my motivation for French is not so high at the moment.
Maybe you should start trying to use the language, if you have twitter, follow a French singer, footballer or actor. Maybe start listening to French, music and if you want you can get the translations of the lyrics. Watch French TV and or films with subtitles. Failing all of these, if it is so that you do not have the motivation, you need to get back to the basic,
Why do/did you want to learn French?
I actually do all of those things. I guess the ones I understand get boring after a while and the others are too hard. At this point I'm learning because I already know quite a bit and want to improve it. I can't remember my original reason why I started learning French.
I'd suggest a book. It goes as fast or as slow as you want. And, as long as it's a story you can get into, you will want to continue.
I don't join any clubs or competitions as, for me, they're counter-productive. Being constantly beaten by someone with more skill and/or more time, is de-motivating for me.
The trick, with a book, is to find something at about the right level. Unless you're really into Victorian novels or classic literature, pick something modern. Trashy love stories are a good place to start :)
Teen fiction is ok - uses modern phrases, and language not too high-brow or too simple.
Short stories also good, for the simple fact that they're short.
Or maybe you need a break. Either way, bonne chance.
are you learning French by yourself? That's impressive, but maybe it's part of the motivation problem, it gets a bit lonely...!
are there any Alliance Française activities in your area? Maybe there are events, resources or classes.
you could call AF or ask a librarian for good french book suggestions for your level. Then your library can order them home (if they have them in the system), or maybe you can buy them used. I like reading Tintin (graphic novels) or a book you already know in English.
specially wonderful is the invention of "parallel reader", a book translated page by page, side by side. I can recommend one in Spanish, but don't have a french one to suggest.
have you read "Le Petit Prince"? It's a very special book.
Thank you everyone for your suggestions. Turns out this discussion was the motivation that I needed. I started watching French TV shows on Youtube, listening to podcasts while reading the French subtitles, and reading a little bit of the news. I do a little bit of each every day, throughout the day. I also joined a French meetup group, though I haven't gone to a meetup yet.
Thanks again everyone for your suggestions and being so kind.
To me, nothing beats meeting or having to meet in real life a real person speaking that language I try to learn. Not other people learning the same language (I have never been attracted by those conversational tables, sorry guys).
In my younger years I had to travel a lot abroad for business, and later, for pleasure. Although everybody I met spoke fluently french or english, it was a real motivation and a great source of pride - and friendship - to be able to speak to the locals in their own language, be it (at least a bit of) Dutch, Spanish or German. And on top of that, the top of all the motivators : falling in love !...
So, go, travel or find a job in a hotel as a receptionist.