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Nervousness When Speaking A New Language

I've got a couple of years of French practise up my sleeve, so naturally, I feel relatively confident when speaking or practising by myself (don't let my Duolingo score fool you, I only joined recently haha).

But whenever I am talking around my French friends or even a French exchange student I hosted recently, I just choke! I freeze up, and all of a sudden I can only have basic sentences. I don't know if I'm the only person like this, (I hope not), because I think once I conquer this problem, it only gets easier.

Does anyone experience the same problem, and more importantly, does anyone have any tips on how I can improve this? Hopefully, some new learners to any language sees this so we can all get over this bump in the road

Thanks! :)

November 8, 2019, 10:39 AM



ive only done spanish for about 4 months, and yeah i really feel the pressure lol. i recommend just deep breaths and try to stucture the sentence in your head before you say it. thats my tip!

November 8, 2019, 10:43 AM


I don't have anything to help you get past this, but I can say you're not alone in it. I have exactly the same problem - I can read Spanish pretty well but if I'm required to speak it, I struggle. Even if I work out the sentence/question in my head first, I still freeze before I can say it. It feels like I'm on a time delay - stop, think, work it out, then say it - and usually I feel self conscious enough at that long silence that I then either daren't say it in Spanish, or the person has assumed I don't know any Spanish and has spoken to me in English instead.

I know the usual advice is to practice, to talk to a sibling/parent/pet in the language you're learning, or even to yourself, to get your brain used to thinking and constructing sentences in that language quickly, without the delay. Or find a language class to attend, to practice with other learners.

Good luck!

November 8, 2019, 10:50 AM


thanks so much!

November 8, 2019, 10:57 AM


I'm always nervous to start, but I find a big smile as I ask a simple question ("Is there a chemist near here" or a bank perhaps) gets me over that first hurdle. Most people respond to a smile. Best to you!

November 8, 2019, 10:55 AM


thank you thank you!

November 8, 2019, 10:57 AM


Any help would be greatly appreciated :)

November 8, 2019, 10:40 AM
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