https://www.duolingo.com/Lammar

My first conversation in french

I just finished my first conversation on skype with a native french speaker learning English and it was amazing!

After getting over my fear of awkwardness when speaking a foreign language i decided to take up the offer from a language partner i met on HelloTalk (Which i highly recommend in conjunction to studies on duolingo to put your vocab to real world use) to talk on skype as he needed help with pronunciation. At first i was a bit nervous due to the fear of not being understood, but to my surprise the exchange went surprisingly well.

After exchanging pleasantries eg Bonjour Ca va etc is when it became interesting. Luckily my language partner had a solid grasp of English,however didn't fully understand some of what i was saying, and asked if i could translate my thoughts into french. This is when we had an impromptu 5min discussion about football and basketball all in french and it was AMAZING! Having finally gotten over my fear of doing languages exchanges online, i now feel more motivated than ever, as i want to be able to use new words etc in our next conversation.

For those of you like me who have not yet spoken your target language with a native speaker, i really urge you to the feeling you get after someone acknowledging your hard work is really motivating.

So to repeat if you are like me head in a grammar book all day attempting to learn and prefect all the tenses, find a native (in which you have a language in common) to speak to, as after all languages are here as a form of communication.

Essay over :L Thank-you duolingo and hope you all have a really good day :D

June 26, 2014

56 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/MultiLinguAlex

Perfect! It's still intimidating for me to speak French to be honest. May I ask what level you consider yourself right now and since when you have been learning French?

June 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Lammar

I know exactly how you feel believe me... I found the thought of speaking a my taget language to a native extremely awkward in the belief that the person im talking to is secretly judging my somewhat poor french skills. However now, speaking from experience i see why many blog teach a speak from day one approach, the reward of actually speaking and being understood greatly outweighs the initial fear and akwardness. So i suggest you dive in, and you can find comfort in knowing that your exchange partner is probably feeling exactly the same as you.

As far as my level in french goes, i have been learning for 4-5 months and some days i feel i'm at a solid intermediate level, but on the other hand some days i wake up feeling like an absolute beginner.

June 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/MultiLinguAlex

Thank you. I've already found a new conversation partner on an infrequent basis, but haven't talked yet. The problem is that I mainly learn business French and have less idea of ordinary French, but I'll see how this will work out.

June 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/writerjisung

This is awesome! Congrats! I hope I can get over my fear of speaking to someone else online over Skype one day. The thought of a native hearing me speak their language still worries me a little. T___T

June 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

You have to remember that when you pick a speaking partner, it's clear from the start that it's for learning purposes. No one in his right mind would judge you for making mistakes when they know this is precisely the reason you wanted to speak with them in the first place.

Also, if you choose a French native who also wants to learn English, then they are in the exact same situation as you and they feel the exact same fears.

Everyone is afraid to make ridiculous mistakes before trying to speak a foreign language for the first time, but the thing is, once you get rid of that fear (and you do makes those mistakes), you realize two things, as Lammar did : first, making mistakes isn't even close to be as horrendous as what you picture in your head, most of the time it's just funny for 5 seconds and that's it; and second, that's when you really start to learn, no matter how much you prepared by reading and practicing all by yourself, when you start to try and speak it with natives, you'll make huge improvements in no time.

June 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Lammar

Couldn't have worded it any better :D

June 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Lammar

Thank-you ... And i believe you will sincerely. Up until yesterday i felt exactly the same but the feeling you get afterwards gives an amazing boost to your motivation .. and thinking about it we all learn in order to speak and to be understood so why not start now..

I hope when you do decide to take the dive it is an amazing success :D

June 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/cpunkstyle

I have just started so there is no way that I'd be able to do that. I've only been on DuoLingo for about two weeks, but I have learned a lot. I had not had any previous education is the French, and now I can at least speak a few sentences. I'm striving to speak this language, and I plan on going through as many different programs as it takes to learn. I'm glad that you did this and that it helped you. I might try to do something like this to boost my knowledge of speaking fluent French. (After I acquire more words) <sub>Claire</sub>

June 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/The_wrighter

If you've just started learning French and want to improve your conversational skills, I HIGHLY recommend Michel Thomas's French audio course in conjunction with Duolingo. I use the iPhone app (it's 5 dollars for each hour recording, and the first two lesson recordings are free so you can get a feel and see if it's for you!) I feel that Michel Thomas's method helps fill in where Duolingo falters (with things like grammar and conversational dialogue) an Duolingo fills in where Thomas falters (visualizing everything and giving you more practice with it). I'm by no means paid or anything to talk about Michel Thomas, his tapes have just really worked for me (it really helps with your accent--after the first few hours I was told by some native speakers that they're surprised how good I sound).

Good luck in your learning!

June 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/MultiLinguAlex

Michel Thomas seems to be fantastic, but I don't have the money to use it. My brother gave me Assimil as a birthday present and that is awesome as well/hell ;-) I start using it frequently and thoroughly in one or two weeks in my summer vacation.

June 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Lammar

Assimil is amazing ... as a fan of both products and due to having to pick one assimil is a solid choice. Hopefully you have got the addition with audio because its a real help when learning how to pronounce nasal sounds and the french R sound

June 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

Assimil made wonders for me in Italian. I don't know how the French one is though. And I only had the book, nothing fancy like an audio CD or an app (is there one?).

June 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/kingthatcher

The french Assimil is amazing. The audio makes it much much much better. I'm sure you can find it somewhere online. Here's an outline of the official way to use it with the recordings: http://languagegeek.net/2010/05/12/how-to-use-an-assimil-course/

June 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

Thanks for the tip! I don't think I need it anymore though, neither for French nor for Italian : French is my first language and I've reached a level in Italian where the book would teach me almost nothing. I might consider it for German, but the price seems dissuasive, especially considering the amount of quality resources available for free on the internet, the book alone is almost three times less expensive than the book with audio CDs (or mp3 CD).

June 30, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/kingthatcher

(replying here since I can't reply to the other comment) since you're a french native speaker, Assimil has an even larger selection of languages available to you (since they're a french company, and they make courses for their largest market, France, first). Their "sans peine" courses are the best beginning courses I've ever used (other than FSI, which is available online for free). The prices are steep, yes. You could probably find the audio online for free somewhere though.

June 30, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

Good to know. I'll see how far Duo takes me with German and if Japanese isn't available when I finish German, I'll consider Assimil as well...

July 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/kingthatcher

Michel Tomas is usually available through one's library. I got the polish and french from my library. Assimil is my all time favourite language course. I had a dream in French one time because of it! (sadly I lost most of my french from lack of use)

June 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/kieranduolingo

yeah its great thanks for the advice .

June 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/SusanneBrands

I have been listening to Learning French by Podcast. It is a free podcast with over 160 conversations. You do have to pay for the Pdf's that you can use with the lessons. But if you do this you might not even need it. You will hear a conversation and after that they will get in to the vocublary. They are conversations that you will have in real life too.

June 30, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/S.Belka

Really fine ! I'm also a native french speaker so if someone want to talk in french just tell me :) I don't have skype juste facebook but i can create an account just for the occasion ;)

June 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Elexia0

You're so lucky!! l know how it feels to have your first chat in a foreign language and actually speak without fear! it's absolutely amazing! What l find the most difficult though is finding native speakers, but l'll give that app you used a try!

June 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/mariagrace3710

I agree. I just started learning French and it helps to have natives or people who speak the language fluently around you. A few people in my family speak French fluently and its really helping me to have conversations with them.

June 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/MarkHopman

Awesome! I usually practice over Facebook conversations; it's surprising to see how helpful people become when you say you're trying to learn their native tongue. I've recently been to Germany twice; once for the Rolling Stones concert in Düsseldorf (Mick spoke some Germlish which I didn't comprehend at all because of his accent) and the Rock am Ring festival. Both were amazing and I was surprised to see my progress in action. :)

June 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ckb09

I find the idea of talking to natives a little intimidating, but nevertheless I would love to try and do it! I worry that I might stall, or say something stupid! Haha, probably irrational thoughts but well done!!

June 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Mattaes

You will 100% stall and say something stupid. Even natives are not above this lol

June 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ckb09

C'est vrai! It would be amazing to have the experience of talking to natives, I can imagine how my conversational fluency would improve! :)

June 30, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Mattaes

You can practice with beginners, too. That is fun as well and less pressure. :)

June 30, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ckb09

Yes I suppose that would be less pressure! Learning along with someone could be interesting. If you don't mind me asking, what languages are you fluent or advanced in?

July 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Mattaes

Well besides English. I'm advanced in German, my dutch is quite good as well as my esperanto, but French is my target language atm, as far as my French I am just basic conversational level but surprisingly I was able to express myself quite a bit already! lol

July 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/xhamza95

good job , if can what your strategy , tips ? i don't know any good way . peace

June 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Lammar

Errm what i would say is make studying fun. At first i used duolingo with the soul purpose of completing my tree, and was learning french firstly because it sounded nice (At first ahaha) and because i wanted to bolster my cv, however i found that learning to fast was very stressful and nothing stuck in my head. However after failing badly initially i learnt that learning a language should be a process about firstly learning about another culture and way of life but also a journey in which you learn a lot about yourself.

If you have the money i would suggest either the Michael Thomas method and/or Assimil french with ease in combination with duolingo. The MT method for me, gave me the chance to actually speak the language, even though it was by myself through the programs artificial immersion environment in which you take the place of the third student. I also found that after completing the cause i had a solid gasp on french grammar without realising. Assimil on the other hand is just really entertaining and allows you to pick up a wide ranging vocabulary really quick.

With or without those products i believe the as soon as you are comfortable with the language find a a couple temporary language partners to practice your written and colloquial french.. I got Dirty French by Adrien Clautrier which is absolutely hilarious btw (By the way) an is a real help when learning how the french actually speak among themselves

Then learn vocabulary about what you are interested in .. For example in my native language i don't know the ins and outs of science therefore it wasn't on the top of list of topics to learn, but sports vocabulary was as other than language that's what i have a passion for, and it is the vocabulary learnt that made the conversation possible

Sorry if that was a bit long winded and I hope it helped :D

June 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/xhamza95

thanks bro . thanks for giving me energy yes we can ^^

June 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/cbb72

Ha ha! That's great. There are some great resources out there but speaking to native speakers is definitely the accelerated way to get more fluent and speak the real language. Dirty French by Adrien Clautrier was one of the things that inspired me to blog about French slang with fruity words too - I just started it so there's lots more content to be added but sign up if you want to learn a bit of real French. It's free! www.frogslegsontoast.com

July 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ErikPersson

How many lessons do you think I need to take before I can do what you did? Have you studied french in any other way besides Duolingo?

June 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Lammar

By lessons do you mean classes or duolingo? And for resources i am using the Michael Thomas method and Assimil french with ease

June 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ErikPersson

I guess I was a bit unclear there, what I meant was how many steps do you think is needed in Duolingo to achieve what you did? Going to look up those resources, thanks for that!

June 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/pkapela

Congrats! I remember my first French conversation outside of school was at work, where I was hired to contact Quebec citizens... Boy was I unprepared. I never realized that they taught us Parisian French and not Quebecois.

I'm going to Austria in a couple of weeks so I'll have plenty of opportunity to speak (and probably butcher) German. Hopefully I've picked up a few useful things from DuoLingo!

June 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/andjan

Thanks for sharing this! I would guess many people here have thought about the Skype thing, and it is motivating to see that it is not just "fearless" people who do that. I am happy for your good experience and I hope that I will soon build the courage to do the same :)

June 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Lammar

Thank-you really appreciate it :D

June 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/westindya

formidable! j'espere que vous continuer! (pardonez les accents, svp!)

June 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/S.Belka

Formidable! j’espère que vous continuerez ! (pardonnez-moi les fautes*, svp!) Good luck :)

June 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/lagrasshopper

You have inspired me to continue learning French. I'll look up the resources you mentioned,; HelloTalk, Michel Thomas and Assimil. . Merci beaucoup!

June 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/binhboong962

that is awesome ^^

June 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ikhsanbani

Can you teach me now? i am learning french too and have to speak to increase my ability :)

June 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/nicolenick31

nice tips.

June 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/adelejoon

amazing!:)

June 30, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Samy1979

What's grammar book for? ;-)

June 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/jasmine.s.

I so understand the fear aspect. Even while I was in France I feared speaking because I didn't want others judging me. I look back on it now and regret that I didn't take more initiative. How did you find your french speaking partner (if you don't mind me asking)? I really want to become fluent, that's my main goal right now. Although, daily online lessons are great I still need that interaction.

June 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Lammar

I used an app called "HelloTalk" made for language learners looking for an exchange, i highly suggest giving it a try i find it really helpful

June 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/elz_19

Hello, do you know any other programs for language chatting (except for the one you mentioned above)?

June 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/saraho

I know of LiveMocha, which is free, but you have to exchange your knowledge for coins, editing other people's work etc, which you can then use to 'buy' conversation access. At least, that's what it was like in 2011, it may have changed since then!

June 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/elz_19

I was using that one before they changed it, it's not functional now. Thanks anyway.

June 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/saraho

There's also the options on http://conversationexchange.com/?

June 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/elz_19

I'll give it a try, thank you.

June 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/francais54

good job! Duolingo helps me too!

June 30, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/MsZucchini

That is great! I have a very hard time speaking French despite having taken multiple years of it in high school. I'm getting better, but it is really a struggle some days. Totally worth it though.

July 1, 2014
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