Never stop trying
As I've posted here a couple of times I recently (nearly 90 days ago) moved from the US to France. While in the US I had a million things going on getting ready for this move visas, government issues to get reconciled etc etc. When I arrived in France I hadn't worked on my French in months.
The last month I've been working intently on my French with Duo and whatever other resources I've been able to find that hold my attention. A couple weeks ago I had one of my first big wins with French customer service (that could be a course in Duo), then it was a weekend of going shopping speaking all in French for the things I was looking for.
Today I had another big win, while waiting for the street car a woman came along and asked a question. If I hadn't learned three key words on Duo (avec, Par and Dans) I wouldn't have been able to help her, but because I learned those three I was able to piece together what she was asking. What I've found with Duo is my listening skills have evolved much more I'm usually not alone when I go out, and the person with me speaks good French but can't read it like I can and also doesn't have the listening skills like I've evolved into thanks to Duo. Today after that I was headed shopping and I went and bough clothes speaking all in French (and yes I got things I like and that fit). Sometimes people get annoyed when you ask them to slow down in speaking or will start speaking English to me. But what I try and do my best at when I can and it's not a serious situation is stick with French because it may be painful at times but it's the only way I'll learn.
Now I love it when I leave a store in the afternoon and can say au revior et bonne journee. It's these little steps in life that have made my living in the south of France where English isn't widely spoken so much more enjoyable! So my advice to those of you out there if you can go find a language meet up between things like meetup and groups you can find on social media, and don't ever stop trying, because the only person you hurt is yourself. People may get impatient, but what they WILL appreciate is you tried! Merci, bonne nuit from the south of France.
This is a lovely story. Thank you for sharing it.
I lived in Paris briefly when I was young and my husband worked there. I thought my French was decent, but as soon as I opened my mouth I was asked, "Etes-vous anglaise ou allemande?"
Massive props to you in your journey in learning. Have you thought of visiting or touring Francophone countries outside France? For example, would you consider visiting Belgium, Canada, Haiti, or the Ivory Coast? From my experience in learning Spanish, I was surprised by the diversity in the Hispanophone world. From what I've heard, I hear that the Francophone world has a similar diversity.
Thank you, one of the reasons we chose the area we live in other than the climate (compared to the southern US) we love having our windows open almost all the time so far (aside from the brutal heatwave at the end of June to mid July). We love the French high speed trains! The ability to go just about anywhere in Europe by train versus plane is nice more comfortable and not as bad for the environment. We've been to Belgium in the past (2001) and I still have memories of how terrible of a trip that was so I would be hesitant to go back haha (that was before I knew that Europe was basically closed on Sunday). I grew up with Canada a few minutes away from where I lived in Michigan so going to Montreal now would be interesting, and as far as the rest of the world having a large international airport an hour away is nice. I watch flight discounts daily trying to decide where the next adventure will be so who knows. One thing I love about the blue passport (US Passport) is it opens many doors.
Inspiring! Your experience with Duolingo gives me hope that my listening comprehension can most definitely improve. But I don't think I'll have an experience to test my French like that anytime soon, so I am looking forward to a new French club starting up at my school.
Bonne chance avec ton étudies !
Love to hear of your success. I agree, it's much easier to stick with French when you get away from Paris. The New York comparison is a good one. I was in Nice a couple of years ago, we asked the hotel concierge in English for a restaurant recommendation. He gave us some typical tourist place, I switched to my half decent French "ahhh vous parlez français" a very different recommendation, the place was amazing and with mostly locals.
We live on the less expensive side of the Mediterranean than Nice (Montpellier). I've wanted to go to Nice, but haven't found time yet. There are so many places to go to and only so many weekends. We went to Zurich about a month ago and upon checking into the hotel the clerk started speaking French to us, and saw our blue passports and then started joking with us that living this far in south we needed to be fluent in French. That for me was the point when I decided every day I was going to work on my French it might only be a few minutes some days, but it would be something.