The French language is trying to kill me

The French language has it in for me, I swear. First they spring something like the preceding direct object agreement rule. Then I learn about liaisons that are required, optional, and forbidden! Now there are color words that for no apparent reason do NOT get conjugated??

I imagine the Academie française as a bunch of sadists thinking up new evil rule exceptions (and exceptions to exceptions) for very specialized situations, just to torture language students.

April 16, 2019


Don't worry, French language is also trying to kill French people. There are stuff I've never managed to find a proper rule about, a lot of things that the Academie left blurred because it doesn't want to take a strong decision.

For colour adjectives (a rule a big percentage of French people doesn't know by the way), a tip is to use compound adjectives, for example "bleu nuit" ou "vert clair" because the rule with compound adjectives is to never "conjugate" them.

April 16, 2019

Be thankful that you learned English as a baby, then.

I feel your frustration; I really do. But French is much more straightforward than English is.

April 16, 2019

Let me quote a famous alexandrine in Corneille's "Le Cid":

A vaincre sans péril, on triomphe sans gloire.

Then bask in your glory after overcoming these difficulties!

April 16, 2019

French was not so bad. I'm currently experiencing Death by Italian. The Future Perfect "will have been" my worst enemy, but clitics are not far behind.

Russian is definitely not for the faint hearted.

April 17, 2019

The French language can be murderous, yes, but all these things you list here are such that will be completely natural and unproblematic for you before you know it. When it comes to complex stuff like liaisons, take one bit at a time. Learn one liaison rule each day, etc. They are quite logical, believe it or not. Also make sure to get maximal listening input, and repeat stuff said by natives in videos, etc. That's the best way to learn speaking.

Remember, all who are really fluent and competent users of a second language, have a love/hate relationship with it. When people say they adore this and that language, I always get suspicious that they really haven't passed the beginner stage.

So don't worry that the language is 'after you'. Let it.

April 16, 2019

couldn't agree more about the love/hate relationship. Always thought it was just me! :))

April 16, 2019

I guess it's kinda like human relationships. As the initial blissful infatuation starts to pass, you see that the other person farts and snores and has all kinds of bad habits. Just like French. And that's also the start of a deeper love, for those willing to accept it as it is.

April 16, 2019

Piece of cake compared to Polish

April 16, 2019

Haha, Sorry, but this post is hilarious. Its the same for Russian.

April 17, 2019

Now there are color words that for no apparent reason do NOT get conjugated??

Verbs are conjugated, adjectives are declined.

April 18, 2019

It is torture for french people as well. Many 12 years old students are unable to read properly and papers are bloated with mistakes, even at University. Both the pronunciation (AIENT ?) and the hundreds of exceptions are mind-blowing.

April 25, 2019

Exactly - The Academie is legit creating grammatical rules just to make 50 exceptions for each one of them :^) I usually don't have many difficulties in French, in fact my spelling is almost perfect most of the time, but some rules are really horrible, even for me.

Howeeeever I find English absolutely atrocious when it comes to pronunciation. Trying to pronounce 'though' is torture. So I guess these struggles aren't one-sided, lmao.

(also, judging by your pfp, I see you're a person of culture as well -)

May 5, 2019

Thanks for your comments, I feel much better :-)

April 17, 2019

Some say that asking for some cohesiveness from a language is barbaric, but the fashion of the American English, that all you require is fluency, might not appeal to others. Also the tendency of just to sample everything that sounds cool and putting them into your sentence also using obscure abstract words pulled out of their historic context, even pronouncing them in your own way, might deter some. Linguistic puritanism and doing grammar for the grammar's sake only is sheer European invention, and yes, it is sadism. But I really don't know which side really is the barbaric one, for the Roman Empire is still alive and well, in European grammatics at least. It's only a choice of which side of the limes you want to come from.

April 17, 2019

"The Roman Empire is still alive and well"

Morituri te salutant (we who are about to die, salute you)

In this case we are the gladiators who are being slaughtered by grammar :)

We have to prevail.

April 17, 2019

most colour words derived from nouns - eg argent (silver), orange, marron (chestnut), etc. - are invariable.

if you want a logical language then learn Esperanto. which will be useful when you're chatting to an Esperatoan. ;)

April 19, 2019

French kills everybody my friend.

May 5, 2019
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