https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

I am bilingual!

Duolingo is just one of the tools I've used to help me in my efforts to learn French. I'm also lucky to live in a French area of Québec and to have had access to some amazing French courses.

But while Duolingo is not the whole story, it is one of the chapters, and today I'm happy to report that I finally, two years after starting this journey, consider myself truly bilingual. My French still needs a lot of work, but yesterday I started a job here as a bilingual receptionist at a hotel. I'm super excited about the position, as it's a great feeling to finally be working after over two years of being a housewife. Also, working in a French environment (I've only met one other Anglophone, though most of the front desk staff speak some English) will afford me an excellent opportunity to continue to improve my French skills.

A big thank you to Duolingo and staff for providing an excellent free tool! And sending lots of encouragement to those on their own learning journeys. When I started, I couldn't even hear the French "r" sound. Now, I easily converse with people about nearby restaurants and other things in the region. Merci!

July 8, 2014

199 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

Je suis très heureuse, Meg, tu as bien travaillé !

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

Merci beaucoup, mon amie! Merci de ton aide ici!

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/carab728

wow i hope i can be like you and learn french im trying by the way im only eight

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

Wow, way to get started early! You can do it, it just takes work and patience. I think it's probably a bit easier to pick up new languages at your age, too.

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/OOGSTER.

Eight is the time to learn! I think you can do it! Just keep at it, one lesson every day is all it takes.

March 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/lingotwager

That's all it takes to get an 836 day streak? ! xD It's actually true if your goal is 10 or less XP per day. Mine is 50

November 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Ezznuszen

I'm also living in Quebec city and have been for many years. I'm American, and although I've lived here long enough that my French should be amazing, everyone keeps me lazy by speaking with me in English. They always tell me they want to practice their English. (Maybe it's a sign of how bad French sounds coming from my mouth hehe)

Such a beautiful city, I just love it here. I'm finally trying to focus on my goal of being bilingual. Congrats to you!

Cheers!

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

Hello, my fellow 'Murican! If you don't mind me asking, what's your status? Are you a permanent resident? And if so, how long have you been a PR? Because if you are a PR and have been for less than five years, I can give you some info on some AMAZING French classes.

Up here, most people don't have enough English to help me in English, but I did meet some who did. And I would be so disheartened when I tried SO hard to talk in French, and they immediately switched to English, haha. I took it as an insult, though I soon realized they were just trying to be kind and polite. Now, I speak to people in whatever they speak to me. If a server at a restaurant is kind enough to try to talk to me in English after hearing my husband and I converse, then I respect that effort and continue in English with them.

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Ezznuszen

We're actually processing my PR as we speak. It's a bit of a long process as I'm sure you know. My partner is actually French Canadian but we tend to speak English at home as well.

We're starting to speaking more French at home. I just have to remind her when she slips into English (out of habit) to not do that. :)

I agree, at first I was thinking "Is my French so bad that you can't stand to hear it?" (when they switch to English, even if their English isn't very good) But they're just trying to be polite and make it easier on us, and often times I think they genuinely enjoy the chance to practice English with a native English speaker.

I've seen you posting for quite some time and always wanted to say hi, but.. never did. So.. Hi! :D

I'm going to attempt to continue to speak French even when they try to switch to English to help me. I'll let them know they can still speak English to me, if they want to practice it... but I need to work on my French, too!

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

Hi! :)

Shoot me an email at meg_in_ok at yahoo, and I'll send you some links on the French classes, if you're interested. I took 6 months of classes, and I went from having some words, speaking in the present, and constructing basic sentences to conversational enough to work.

I'm lucky* to be here. English often simply wasn't an option, which forced me to use my French. I'm also blessed with an EXTREMELY outgoing personality, to talking to strangers, even in my second language, is something that occurs pretty naturally for me.

(The askterisk after "lucky" above is because I AM lucky, and I'm thankful for this opportunity, but it hasn't been easy. Sometimes it has been downright miserable, as my bilingual husband was gone for over 6 months of our first year here.)

I think your efforts in the future to speak more in French will help a lot! For me, just getting over the fear and embarrassment in the beginning was the biggest step. There are still mild frustrations when I have trouble communicating, but nothing like the fear and the feeling I was stupid early on.

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

Well, to help you a bit, you could pretend like you don't speak English to force people speaking French to you. At least you understand that it's not a judgement on the quality of your French, only a misplaced demonstration of politeness and trying to be helpful.

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/prky
  • 2016

Will French speakers in Quebec respond to you in French, if you pretend you don't speak English, even if they assume you are American ?

September 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

I guess that depends on the person. Although it can lead to strange situations when one pretends to be what one is not.

Probably the most effective, still honest way to get people to speak French with you is to simply ask them to, saying you want to learn and practice. They will most probably understand and comply, unless they are in a hurry and would rather the conversation not stretch for too long.

September 13, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/prky
  • 2016

Thank you, BastouXII !

September 13, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/EriktheSwede

wow gratz. EPIC streak

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Ezznuszen

Thank you, but it's not as impressive as it looks.

I pretty much stopped using Duolingo when they took away the vocabulary feature.

I just come back once a day for like 2 minutes to redo lesson 1 enough to keep up my streak in the hopes (and broken promises) that they'll bring it back.

I liked Duolingo until then, but without the vocab feature, I find it to be pretty useless. As an Anglophone, it's not second nature to me that inanimate objects can/should have a gender. Duo's old vocabulary feature was really, really useful.

They keep promising to bring it back, and there's some lame attempt to do so in testing right now, but it's not at all what it was. Right now, it seems to be just a word list. blah.

Until it gets properly re-implemented, I've resorted to using other sites for written French and increasing my vocabulary and working on my memory, and spoken language tools like pimsleur, michel thomas as well as taking advantage of the fact I live in a French speaking area with a French girlfriend to work on the rest.

I really want to actually USE Duolingo every day again, but.. until it's useful, there's just not really any point in it for me.

So I come back for a few minutes every day, read the discussions, (mostly to find more broken promises), do a lesson and move on with my day.

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/maddyis7

'Words' is very poor compared to the old 'Vocab' This topic has been discussed more than any other on DL, for so long now, that the team, must have a massive feedback, as to how popular it was. I don't know if it's to do with technical issues, as they get increasingly multilingual!

But I still think DL is the best tool available, apart from actually conversing, in real life, which like you were, I am afraid I am still too 'Chicken' to do!

My chosen language is Italian, and my nerves (First time using it), ordering coffee in an Italian Café, in Britain were well.....I don't know how I did it! And then I had to ask for some sugar. The simplest of things, but at least the waiter understood me, and I understood him.

That was over a year ago. You are lucky living in French Canada. I rarely get an opportunity to use my Italian. I did attend Evening classes for a while, where everyone else there was on their second year, and I was amazed to find, my pronunciation and vocab, were way beyond theirs....Which can only be down to DL.

My streak has just disappeared down to zero again, due to illness. It used to be important, but I don't worry about it now, though it has been a great incentive in the past

Keep doing what you are doing. Confidence is the one thing, no course can teach :)

July 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/EriktheSwede

At least you do duo lingo

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/maddyis7

I'm trying to reply to your later response and just hope this appears in order but, we have great similarities in some of our learning practices.

I'm tending to spend more time on the Discussion pages, these days. than learning :( Shame on me.

  1. I tend to be a perfectionist too. Somethings I have learnt or picked up by rote, but that is no good for me; I need to understand 'why' I am saying what I'm saying. If you can't understand properly, what you are trying to get across, how can you expect a listener to do so. 2.. If you want 'Fast' listen to native Italians! It makes French seem slow in comparison! lol
  2. Practising just one word - I have done that too. Many times - Especially 'Arrivederci' 3 'r's ! lol. The hardest part is not inserting a 4th 'r' immediately before the 'd' :) But I believe that one word, has improved my accent no end. Also I get a lot of pleasure trying to get my pronunciation right on single words - Italian is a very beautiful sounding language..

French comes close. But I'm afraid to admit English can often sound horrid. It's such a mix-mash of other languages from various historical shennanigans, yet that is what makes English so expressive and versatile. So I'm proud of my mother-tongue, even if she does speak harshly sometimes. lol

July 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Ezznuszen

Thanks Maddy,

I agree, it's a great tool. I've been living in the area long enough that I have no excuse other than laziness for not being fully bilingual by now. (I've lived here almost half my life).

When I first started learning french when I arrived, my being a perfectionist slowed my progress. Worried about pronouncing everything just perfectly. I'd sometimes work on a single word, over and over for hours.

on the bright side, my French R's are really good. People I speak to in french tell me it sounds native. At first, it was a bit tricky, now it's second nature. I think I may accidentally pronounce my English ones that way sometimes.

But as I said, the perfectionist in me, not wanting to make mistakes, making sure I was pronouncing everything perfectly, and needing to know the 'why' of everything.. (sometimes, that's just the way it is...) slowed me down.

That and everyone I dealt with on a daily basis, spoke to me in English, even if theirs wasn't very good.

Now, I'm much more focused, determined, less lazy, and try not to worry about making mistakes. I don't need to over analyze everything.

My biggest problem then became.. I know quite a few thousand french words... how do I put them together so they make sense?

and listening to others speak... when they speak to fast, it's easy to get lost. :)

It's a work on progress. We'll get there.

But don't be afraid to make mistakes. Don't be shy to speak. I can tell you from experience, it will slow you down. Just use it every chance you get. You'll get there.

I'm very fortunate to live in a French environment, with a french partner. It's a situation most people would give anything to be able to take advantage of, and I haven't been. I regret it but, it's changing now.

Cheers!

July 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

Congratulations on the new job! This is excellent news! Not so much the job in itself, but what it means as both an appreciation of your progress by French speakers who trust your skills enough to give you a job and a personal acknowledgement that, as big and impossible a task as it seemed when you moved out there, you did reach your goal. May it serves as a reminder (to you and anyone being inspired by your story) that, given enough time, effort and perseverance, you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. I'm proud of you! Now go celebrate like you deserve it!

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

Thanks so much! I am really quite proud. And I'm so appreciative to the staff at the hotel who gave me this opportunity! They seem like a great group, very encouraging and supportive. I really didn't know if my French was good enough to work here yet, but they trust me to talk to their clients, haha!

Ha, I just teared up a little. Really appreciate the kind words!

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/carab728

now im encoureged to learn french and by the way thanks

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

Awesome! It's not super-easy, but as long as you keep working at it, you're probably making more progress than you realize.

July 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Moomingirl

So, so excited for you. It is reading stories like these that keep me studying every day, in the hope that one day I will be able to function well in my target languages.

Don't worry too much about today being a tougher day. The first day is always exciting, and then the reality starts setting in. As someone above said, keep a notebook of new words, and you will soon find that you sail through the day to day stuff. I'm sure we'd all love to hear an update in a month or two.

Congratulations on being such an inspiration to everyone here. :)

July 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

Thanks! Studying so much WILL pay off in time. There were days I "knew" I'd never be able to speak French. But I've come a long way. I've still a long way to go, but looking back at how far I've come convinces me I can continue to improve.

It's been a roller coaster for me from the beginning, meaning that some days were far easier than others, and some far harder, with no real rhyme or reason. I had thought of learning language as a much more linear process than it is. "Okay, I studied regular 'er' verb conjugations for the present tense. I've memorized them and spoken them. Moving on, ready for the second group." And then you talk that, learn those verbs, and move on...right? Not so for me. I'd learn something new, and then forget something old. Get flustered and lose words that had been in my vocabulary for over a year. Stumble over simple stuff after correctly using the subjunctive. It's one step forward, two back, four forward, one back, three back, two forward...and so forth. But there's no doubt that I've learned a lot, and I'm determined to continue. :)

July 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist

Félicitations !

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

Merci!

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Illustris

Congratulations! I can't wait for the day I can also feel happy with my french and german.

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

Thanks! I hope that day comes for you sooner rather than later. :)

July 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/valleygirl69

Congrats on the new job! It sounds like it will be both fun and challenging in a good wayI hope you will have time continue at Duo. I've always enjoyed your comments, often in dialog between you and Sitesurf. Oh, wait... you've probably gone through the whole tree already, whereas I'm not.

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

Thanks! It was my second day today, and it will DEFINITELY be challenging at times, but I look at it as getting an hour wage to practice and improve my French.

I've not actually made it through the tree yet. I used Duolingo most in between my French classes, over last summer. I still play with it sometimes, but between an online French course (which I hate) through Québec's immigration ministry, trying to read some in Frrench, working now (and before that, working on application materials pretty often), and trying to enjoy life, I don't do a lot of exercises on here. I'm sure I'll continue until I eventually complete the tree, especially as I will probably drop my online course. I have some more evening courses I can take in the classroom in August, and this admin/business/law French course is sooooooooooooo boring.

July 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy

Congratulations on your success in finding work in a second language environment. Other students may not be aware but finding work of any kind in Quebec is relatively difficult.

You obviously have worked hard. Your contributions to Duolingo with your comments have been beneficial to all.

What was the online course that was so bad?

July 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

Thanks! Communities here tend to look out for their own first. There's very much a village mentality. Not saying it's a bad thing. It's good to take care of your local sons and daughters and to be proud of the place you come from. But it means that, at times, it can be hard for outsiders. I was actually quite surprised to get positive responses to my resume so quickly (I had interviews for three positions within a month or so). My name (took hubby's Italian last name, and my first name is Megan - pretty Anglo) marks me instantly as an outsider, and I know even Québécois from other regions sometimes have difficulty finding work here.

The online course is just SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO boring. It's a course on administration, law, and business, and it's all kinds of blahblahblah about the qualities of good leaders, etc. The last exercise I did, I had to read a HUGE long text about the history of the caisse desjardins and its founder. I'm supposed to spend at least 6 hours a week working on it, and I just don't know, now that I'm working, if I have the discipline to work on it most days.

July 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/McLugo

Congratulations! Nothing compares to the feeling of making use of what you've learned! ;-)

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

Thanks! It really is a great feeling!

July 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/kimojima
July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

I'm not level 5 bilingual. I am probably a 3 or 3+, depending on the day. "Bilingual" means a lot of things to a lot of people. During my French courses, I told my professeurs that my goal was to be bilingual. They told me often that I was, haha, but until I had it tested in the real world a bit more, I didn't even start to consider myself bilingual. Now, I know I can get through whatever I need to in French, though sometimes it's a bit painful.

July 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy

Have a look at various certification opportunities that are around. Test yourself to see what level you are at. There are some damn fine Federal Government jobs that are available to bilinguals with certs so that they can meet their statutory obligations to provide services in both languages. Even private companies. Air Canada gets sued on a regular basis because they can't handle a request for Seven-Up in French.

July 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

That's definitely something I'll do in the future! It's one of the reasons that, even though we know we're not here forever (probably no chance we'll be posted out until at least 2016, but we know we'll be posted out at some point), I'm very excited to be learning French. No matter where I go in Canada, even if it's an area where practically no one speaks French, being bilingual here has real, tangible value.

Speaking of private companies, our cell phone plan is with Bell. We're in a very French area, so our bill is in French. We had an error on our bill, so hubby contacted a Bell rep through their online chat function. Told the rep about the problem. Rep said, "Okay, hold on just a sec while I look up your account. ... Um...I'm going to have get you a French rep, as your bill is all in French. .... I'm sorry, no French rep is available right now. ... Um, I'm sorry for the wait, sir, but I'm going to have to try to run your bill through google translate." It was pretty funny. I couldn't believe they didn't have a function to display the bill in either language for their reps.

July 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy

Please God, don't ever let anyone send me a bill that has been run through Google Translate.

July 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/E.T.s_Son

Continue to prevail in your language endeavors and your improvements will show. I'm almost done with my Spanish tree which will be my third languge learned right beside French and Japanese. Even though I still need to improve my fluency in all three I feel so proud to have "Polyglot" on my Life Resume =D

July 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

Thanks! Continuing is exactly my plan. Wow, way to tackle the language thing from multiple angles! English and French are ABSOLUTELY enough for me at this point, haha! I don't think I'd pursue another unless life gave me some reason to do so (like, if hubby got posted to Germany).

July 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/E.T.s_Son

Your husband is in the military?

July 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

Yep. That's why he was in my home state in the first place, and that's how we ended up in Québec.

July 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/E.T.s_Son

That's cool. I join the military in December, Navy branch.

July 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

Good luck! It'll be an adventure, that's for sure.

July 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/TonyMintz

Congratulations! I am so excited for you, and wish you the best of luck for the world that you just unlocked by learning such a beautiful language.

July 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

Thanks!

You know, it's funny, the more French I know, the less "beautiful" it sounds. It's not that it sounds "ugly," but it's just words now.

July 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

I know exactly what you mean! Although I've never regarded a language as being "beautiful" or "ugly" (in my opinion, any language can be either, depending on the situation), many people who don't speak a language think of it as beautiful because it sounds exotic (and of course, when they start learning it, it loses its exotic value). My partner is Italian and how many people told me the Italian language is so beautiful and they would like so much to learn it, etc. I see languages as communication tools, deeply influenced by history and the culture of the people who speak it. I've been moved by beautiful speeches or songs in every language that I know and I've also been disgusted at every language that I know about the lack of a way to express something or a weird sounding word. Never enough to consider the whole language to be "ugly" or "beautiful".

July 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/TonyMintz

Yep it's true. After a while, you begin to hear the language as just what is it, a tool. I've asked several of my friends on whether English is a 'beautiful' or 'ugly' language' and we cannot find the solution to it. After a while, the appeal of the language's fades as you become used it. But don't get me wrong, this is a very good thing. It means that the language barrier that makes it sound 'foreign' no longer exists for you, and you are that much closer to becoming fluent in it.

July 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/leporcine

Thanks. You give us hope!

July 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

So happy to be able to share with people who are also studying French! :)

July 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/invader4000

I hope I will archive the same in Italian as you did in French :) Good job :)

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

Good luck! It's pretty amazing when you look back and take note of the progress you've made. Keep on working at it!

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/AdrianJosh

*achieve? good luck!

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/katsushii

Congratulations, Meg ! This is a very exciting time in life, and I'm happy for you. :)

When I started, I couldn't even hear the French "r" sound.

Me neither! But now I do hear it and practice it, as well !
Merci for the encouragement !

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

Haha, so you know what I mean! I used to drive around by myself, running errands, and practice "gargling" out the French "r" for minutes on end. It's a frustrating journey at times, but just keep plugging away!

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/katsushii

Yes, I practice* the French "r" with my dog sometimes. He practices it right back with me.

*practice = gargle

July 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

Haha, does he gargle back?! I have a Chinese Canadian friend who speaks Cantonese, Mandarin, English, and has been trying to learn French. She jokes that her sweet little dog has a better "r" than her.

July 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy

My granddaughter is French immersion at grade one level. She is why I started way back with Duolingo. I figured someone in the family had to know what was going on with her school work.

Anyway, she thinks it's very funny when I try to pronounce French r's.

Edit: She thinks it funny because she pronounces them perfectly.

July 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

As long as you're motivated, there is no bad reason to learn a new language. You will (or maybe you already do) find other benefits along the way as well!

July 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

Kids can be merciless! One of my classmates in the immigrant French program was Chinese. He had a strong accent in French. His 6 year old son was born here and is fluent in French and Mandarin and speaks some English. "C'est pas comme ça, Papa!" is something my poor classmate heard a lot when he would try to speak French to his son. :-D

July 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy

Yes, she does enjoy the opportunity to patiently explain things to me.

July 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/vermist

Ha, I thought I was the only one who had to practice r-gargling...

July 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/MultiLinguAlex

That's awesome and very encouraging. Have a great time and all the best to you. It was really worth working hard =)

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

Thank you! This has been an insane journey, moving far away from my family and friends to a place where I didn't speak the language, but it is SO rewarding.

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/AdrianJosh

Congrats! I am starting to understand more French everyday like i could understand the tv and internet videos easier like 50% of the time and I could understand the text faster and easier! and thanks for sharing! we just need to keep going!

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

Thanks! And watching tv and videos is GREAT practice. I've listened to a LOT of talk radio over the past 2 years. In the beginning, I could only catch perhaps a word in 50. Now I understand pretty much everything (though I miss a detail here or there, of course). Keep at it! Every little bit helps.

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Mitchell_MT

Good for you. Take 5 lingots!

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

Thank you! :)

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Hohenems

Bonne chance avec ton nouveau emploi! :-)

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

Since we are all learning here, may I offer a small correction : ton nouvel emploi. Emploi is indeed masculine, but it starts with a vowel, so we change the endings of some adjectives to ease out the pronunciation. In the same context, we would have bel (instead of beau) and cet (instead of ce).

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Hohenems

Merci, mon français est épouvantable ces jours-ci.

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

Merci! Les corrections sont toujours bienvenues.

July 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

Merci! J'en ai besoin, hihi! Je suis nerveuse quand j'ai du souci de comprendre quelqu'un, mais je sais que je dois continuer à faire mes efforts pour continuer de m'améliorer.

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/MikeMinogue

Well done, on my first visit to Paris to see my daughters, who have chosen to live there, I managed to understand just a few words. I find French the most difficult of the languages I have chosen to study. Perhaps by the time my first grandson is talking I shall be able to speak to him.

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

Thanks! I found it INCREDIBLY diffcult at first. I told my husband it registered as birdsong to me, not an actual language comprised of words. Keep working at it! And if you can listen to French some (tv, talk radio, movies, etc), that REALLY helped tune my ears.

July 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/lizdil1

wow!! c'est trest bien Meg!! Bonne Chance!!

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

Merci! J'en ai besoin! Il y aura des jours DIFFICILES au travail, je sais!

July 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

Fantastique ! Mes parents viennent de Montréal, mais je suis née en California, près de Los Angeles. Mon mari vient de Verchères. Il est actuellement en Boucherville visiter sa mère. Il parle de retourner à Québec dans cinq ans. Mes parents parlait français entre eux-memes; mais à cause d'un problème qu'un de mes frères avait, ils parlaient aux enfants en anglais avec l'idée fausse qu'il ne parlait pas parce que c'était trop difficile pour lui d'apprendre deux langues. (Les docteurs n'ont pas trouvé son vrai problème de coordination que plus tard.) J'avait quand meme l'oreille pour le français, mais la plupart j'ai appris à l'école. Mes cousins à Montréal m'ont dit que je parle avec un accent américain. Quand j'ai marié mon mari, j'étais prèt à déménager à Québec. Au lieu, il a déménagé ici. Il voulait apprendre l'anglais et pour cette raison nous avons parler en anglais la plupart du temps. Comme ça j'ai oublié beaucoup de français et duolingo est venu au secours. J'espère que si on déménage que je ferai aussi bien que vous avez faites. Merci, pour partager votre histoire avec nous!

July 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

Merci de me partager votre histoire aussi! Un accent américain, vraiment? Je connais bien cet accent, hihi. Est-ce que c'est different qu'un accent canadien (anglophone)? Avec votre base du français de l'enfance, j'imagine que vous pouvez le réapprendre assez vite.

July 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/mrghost

You rock!!

July 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

Merci! I'm pretty proud, even though my second day of work showed me that this will, indeed, be a big challenge.

July 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/mrghost

There is an inflection point in the learning curve where your knowledge grows exponentially, because most of what you hear becomes "comprehensible input" and you will be learning all day long from every interaction. It seems that you are at that point :)

Congratulations on the new job, too!!

July 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

Yeah, I think that's about where I'm at. I still have "good French days" (like my first interview with my now-employers!) and "not-so-great French days" (today wasn't awesome, though I was still able to function). It's pretty great to understand pretty much everything that is said to me during in training.

And I'm INORDINATELY excited about the job! It's "just" a receptionist gig at a hotel, but it's probably the nicest hotel in the region, and it's a REAL job (most of the Anglophone military spouses here don't make a real effort to learn French, nevermind find work on the local economy), and it's going to give me experience in Québec/Canada, bilingual references (you don't realize some of the challenges at first...NONE of my professional references are in this country, and none understand or speak French). It's a big step for me.

July 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/mrghost

May I suggest that you keep a notebook of new vocabulary or grammar that you hear at your job, study them and review them frequently. Within a very short time, you'll know most of the vocabulary that you will encounter there. Bonne chance!

July 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

I will definitely do that. I have folders FULL of French notes all over the house, haha. I took a pocket notebook in to work with me, but I'm mostly using it to make notes about procedures at the moment. My notes are a mess, haha, a terrible blend of English and French and scribbles that will be incomprehensible even to me in another week or so.

July 9, 2014

[deactivated user]

    Mes conseils; parler le langue, et vous obtenez le compétence avec le langue. C'est le plus effectif mode du apprendre tout les langues. Vous verrez, je apprendre mon compétence en français avec cette méthode. :D

    July 9, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/cjholloway

    C'est fantastique !

    July 9, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

    Merci!

    July 9, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/jacgrenz

    bonjour. how does one use the accent marks on an american keyboard? need help getting the french to stick. any advice will help.

    July 9, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

    You can use alt codes. I have a "cheat sheet" of alt codes taped to the keyboard of my laptop, but I actually know most of them by heart now, and they don't even slow me down much anymore.

    À = ALT + 0192 (grave)

    à = ALT + 133

    Â = ALT + 0194 (circumflex)

    â = ALT + 131

    Ä = ALT + 142 (tréma)

    ä = ALT + 132

    Æ = ALT + 146 (a e ligature)

    æ = ALT + 145

    Ç = ALT + 128 (cedilla)

    ç = ALT + 135

    É = ALT + 144 (aigu)

    é = ALT + 130

    È = ALT + 0200 (grave)

    è = ALT + 138

    Ê = ATL + 0202 (circumflex)

    ê = ALT + 136

    Ë = ALT + 0203 (tréma)

    ë = ALT + 137

    Î = ALT + 0206 (circumflex)

    î = ALT + 140

    Ï = ALT + 0207 (tréma)

    ï = ALT + 139

    Ô = ALT + 0212 (circumflex)

    ô = ALT + 147

    Π= ALT + 0140 (o e ligature)

    œ = ALT + 0156

    Ù = ALT + 0217 (grave)

    ù = ALT + 151

    Û = ALT + 0219 (circumflex)

    û = ALT + 150

    Ü = ALT + 154 (tréma)

    ü = ALT + 129

    July 9, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

    That's a good trick (to stick it to your keyboard). You can find a list here. The other options are to change your keyboard layout (you can do that in your OS, you just need to find the way the keys are placed, search for images on either google or wikipedia) and install a program to create your own shortcuts, which will make sense for you. Someone recommended one such program before but I forgot what it was called.

    July 9, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

    I've a pretty good memory, so like I said, I've memorized most of them now. I sometimes even use them on a French keyboard, the habit is so ingrained, haha! My hubby, who's been fluently bilingual since childhood, will often be typing an email to someone and look over at me, "Babe? U accent grave?" "Lowercase is 151." :-D I did get to use a French keyboard some at school, which was helpful. That's what they have at work, of course, though we don't have to write a whole lot.

    July 9, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/mrghost

    Somehow my Apple keyboard is set so when I hold down a key, instead of repeating, it offers me a menu of accents. iPhone and iPad do something similar. If Windows won't do it, I bet there's a third party add on that will enable it in various ways.

    July 9, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

    Yeah, Apple makes it a lot easier. That's how my iPhone works, though I also have a French keyboard added on my phone (mostly for the spell check).

    July 9, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/FrontierlandFan

    génial! :D

    That's so cool that you've learned so much in just two years, and congrats on your new job! Thank you so much for posting this- it's very inspiring! I'm going to be studying abroad in France this year and have been very nervous about the language, but hearing your story about living somewhere where French is spoken and coming out on top of things is very very helpful and makes me feel more confident.

    Thanks again, and congrats on your language ability and new job! Bonne chance! :D

    July 9, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

    Thanks, I'm excited about the job (and just trying to ignore the nagging little worries about what happens when I have trouble understanding someone!).

    The best advice I can give you is the best advice that was given to me before my move here. My brother-in-law (who is fluently bilingual) told me: go out, and TALK. You're going to feel stupid. But talk to people. Go out the next day, repeat. Talk. Feel stupid. Repeat the next day. At some point, you will realize you just did something in French and you DIDN'T feel stupid (might just be asking the price of something at a market, or briefly agreeing that the weather is beautiful today). HOORAY for not feeling stupid!!! Then you're going to go out the next day, and TALK...and feel stupid again! But if you keep on going out into the world, and trying, and interacting with people, you'll feel stupid less and less often. Then you'll get to a point where you don't feel stupid very often at all. If you do it enough, you'll only feel stupid as often as you do in English. ;)

    And that was GREAT advice! I remember working up my nerve to meet people's eyes here and smile (NOT like me at all, usually I am confident and social, but in the beginning, I was terrified of people talking to me when I couldn't understand them). I remember practicing "J'ai besoin d'aide" for perhaps two full minutes before going into a store to buy something heavy. I remember that feeling of a hot blush rising to my cheeks when I tried to talk to someone, and despite my best efforts, I couldn't understand them, and they just looked at me in confusion. Sometimes it really sucked. And sometimes even now, despite being able to easily converse with some people, I approach someone and speak, and my accent TOTALLY throws them, and they just stare at me with a blank look, haha! (My accent's not even TERRIBLE for an Anglophone.)

    But for me, getting over that fear and embarrassment was absolutely the hardest part. Now, I'll talk to anyone. And if we have some trouble, I just giggle, and I try to reword my sentence. It was a little nerve-wracking to start to help clients at the hotel yesterday, as I take service seriously, and my French is still limited. But a big smile, and a, "Merci BEAUCOUP de votre patience! C'est que mon deuxième soir ici," and most were very friendly and patient as I stumbled through the check-in process. I know I can push on through, and while there will be challenges, no one's going to punch me in the jaw over our difficulties. I can handle a frown now and then from the less patient people of the world. ;)

    July 9, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/FrontierlandFan

    Thank you so much for the great advice! :D I think I'm actually going to copy and paste that into a word document to look back on. I will most definitely try my best to speak to people all the time, everyday. Thank you for sharing all of that! It's good things are going well at your job and that people are understanding.

    Je vais garder vos mots pendant que je suis en France et j'espère que votre travaille continue d'aller bien pour vous.

    (Oh dear that was probably wrong in so many ways <_< (i guess th'embarrassment starts now then.. :P ))

    July 9, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

    Je vous ai parfaitement compris. :)

    Some days, I didn't have it in me, so I didn't leave the house. (It's not just the language, but being so far away from family, husband being gone a lot early on, and a lot of other factors.) But when I did go out, I made sure to take a positive attitude with me. I think the world reflects back to you what you put out into it. I've heard a lot of negativity from other Anglophones here, about how a Francophone was rude to them or wouldn't help them or whatever. I've NEVER had anyone be rude or mean to me here, and I think it's because I expect good things, and I go out with a smile ready.

    July 9, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/FrontierlandFan

    Je suis très contente que vous avez compris! (i hope you don't mind if I stay in French, for practice's sake?)

    Vous êtes vraiment positive et très sympa :) je vais essayer d'être un peu comme vous. Je crois que vous avez raison- moi aussi, je n'ai jamais parlé avec un francophone qui n'a pas été gentil... notammant quand j'essaie d'être sympa et quand je leur (les?) dis que j'étudie leur langue... mais généralement la plupart des personnes que j'ai parlé avec (?) ont été sympas.

    July 9, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

    Bien oui, c'est la bonne pratique!

    Merci! "Je leur dis," c'est correct. :) "Dire à qqn," alors le "à" veut dire on utilise "leur".

    Vous avez raison, aussi. Il existe, c'est sûr, des personnes mois polis ou mois sympathiques. Mais ce n'est pas une question de langue. Certaines personnes sont comme ça, peu importe quelle langues elles parles.

    July 11, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

    la plupart des personnes que j'ai parlé avec

    La bonne syntaxe est : la plupart des personnes (ici « des gens » sonne mieux, mais ce n'est pas une erreur) avec qui j'ai parlé

    July 11, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/FrontierlandFan

    Merci pour l'aide, Meg et Bastou!

    Oui, les plupart des gens (de tout les pays) dans le monde sont merveilleux. C'est interessant que nous disons souvent que la nature humaine est d'être méchant ou d'être tombé, quand peu de gens sont mèchants! Je dirais que la nature humaine est d'être généralement bon, mais avec un peu de mal.

    July 11, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

    Wow! Best. advice. ever. May I borrow it once in a while to encourage people feeling afraid to try and speak their target language?

    July 9, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

    Certainly! Like I said, it was the best advice anyone gave me about this whole process, and his words come back to me time and time again. Just yesterday, when being nervous made my French even rougher than usual as I helped a client, once I finished, I replayed those words. TALK. and FEEL STUPID. And REPEAT. It's the only way through it.

    July 9, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/jacgrenz

    how does one go about to study abroad in france?

    July 10, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/lanainparis

    congratulations! Hope to do the same!

    July 9, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

    Thanks! And I'm sure you can!

    July 9, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/maddyis7

    It's just too fantastic a story not to merit a Lingot. so I've just given you one. But I can't but help being jealous, that you live in Quebec and so get a chance to practise every day.

    If some-one could dump me in the wilds of Tuscany, just perhaps my Italian might leap ahead. Either that or I would starve to death as an illiterate Tramp! lol.

    But I do know what you mean about the 'r' sound. It seems to come so naturally now, that I have to resist putting it into English words. Ha lol :)

    Buona fortuna or

    In boca al Lupo.

    Alice

    July 9, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/mrghost

    If you want to travel and speak the language, it helps immensely to have already made friends in your destination country. Otherwise (as a tourist) interactions are very brief with hotel and restaurant staff. Another approach is to make sure you attend some event (polyglot, couch surfing, other kind of social event) that assures a supply of native speakers and affords the opportunity to make new friends.

    July 9, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/mrghost

    And I meant to mention making friends and doing language exchange via Skype as a means of making native speaker friends.

    July 9, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/maddyis7

    I started a reply, which suddenly disappeared; but my serious girlfriends, in order have been; Chinese, Scottish, Indian, Bahraini (English / Scottish). Italian English, Irish, Italian (again) English (35 years), Italian, Indian (Born in India) ,Italian (Again) and the latest is called Ceilibacy. They all spoke perfect English , so I never picked up a word :( lol. But Celibacy is a bit quietly spoken so I'll try my Italian out on her

    July 9, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

    My husband HATED speaking any French with me. It's gotten better as I've learned more. Sometimes now, we do French nights, where we can only speak in French. Now that I can understand most of what he says, he doesn't find helping me as frustrating, haha.

    Yes, good luck with Celibacy! :-D

    July 10, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/maddyis7

    I don't think this relationship will last too long. What she lacks in conversation, she also lacks in the bedroom. I think I need someone more loving and caring and multi - lingual, -talented ! Lol :) hahaha.

    July 10, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/mrghost

    You have to make time where you avoid speaking the strongest language. Bonne chance avec Celibacy :)

    July 9, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

    GREAT advice! I valued the very limited interactions I had early on (because I couldn't even begin to have a real conversation), but those interactions are by nature short and shallow. Plus, you can get more comfortable with friends and know they'll be patient with you and encourage your efforts.

    July 10, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

    Thanks! And I do try to remind myself that I'm lucky. I never had any dream of learning French (or any other language, for that matter), and this move was not something I chose. I fell in love, and then followed that love where it led. I say "remind myself I'm lucky," because at times, this has NOT been a fun ride. There was a lot of crying in the beginning, especially early on, when I was alone a lot. But I know many others would leap at the opportunities I've been given, and so I try to make the most of them.

    Yeah, hubby and I sometimes "growl" at each other with the French "r" sound, haha. And sometimes I do use it in English by accident.

    July 9, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/maddyis7

    Well I can only wish you luck. My divorce came through from my wife last Thursday' after 20 years.! Friends for 35. Yet we are on the phone every night for hours (and I am back round her/our house all the time, doing DIY etc, Strange world. I love my wife. I think she probably loves me too, Strange world. I hope you and Quebec get on!

    July 9, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

    Humans are strange creatures for sure! I don't really believe in "forever," though I can't quite come up with anything I could see threatening our relationship. Even if something were to send us on separate paths, though, I can never regret what we've shared. So many rich experiences!

    All the best to you in whatever craziness the future holds!

    July 10, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/ahiotis

    Congratulations! I speak Greek myself and I really wanted to dive into French and, for me, the hardest part is the pronunciation. It's getting easier though and reading this has really pumped me up even more!

    July 9, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

    Thanks! It was SO hard for me in the beginning, too, and I still make lots of mistakes. Certain words refuse to roll off my tongue (seriously, what is so hard about "climatiseur"?). But context is everything with language, perhaps particularly so in French, so when you're in the real world, a lot of people are able to understand what you mean, even if you're making some mistakes. Glad you're pumped up, and good luck with your studies!

    July 9, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/kimojima
    July 9, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Pteranodone

    congrats! i just started learning french today. i am very excited about this program! i believe french will be very useful for me, as i take ballet lessons, and most of the words are french!!

    July 9, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

    Thanks! And there are a LOT of French words in a lot of different disciplines. My husband is into fencing, and ALL of those words, from names of the weapons to different moves, are in French.

    July 9, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Batomouch

    Félicitations Meg and good luck for the future !!! Have a lovely time :))

    July 9, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

    Thank you very much! I know it will be stressful at times, but I feel very fortunate to have this chance to keep working and improving.

    July 10, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/anthgrl

    Congrats and good luck with the new job! I love hearing success stories; I've been thinking I'd like to move to Canada myself one day, or possibly even Geneva, but my own French journey has been sooo slow, so thanks for the inspiration. It's great to hear that it really can be done. :-)

    July 9, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/p8c
    • 292

    thanks for your encouraging story!! it is one of hope, possibility, and accomplishment!! thank you!

    July 9, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

    Thanks! It's been a VERY bumpy road, but after day 3 of training at work, and checking in some people on my own (sometimes when we got busy and my trainer wasn't there to help at all), and even joking a little with one of our guests, it's been more than worth it. Still a long way to go, but to have come this far tells me I can keep on going.

    July 10, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Ninche92

    Congratulations! I just discovered today Duolingo website and it's very interesting to me. I'm so glad that I read that someone reached fluency using it. ^_^ I learn French, too. I'm fluent in English and I know already some basics in French.

    July 9, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

    Thanks! What is your maternal language? Your English certainly seems very good. I think knowing English will help you with French. French is one of several bases English was built on, and I find a lot of common words and concepts between the two langauges.

    July 10, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Ninche92

    You're welcome! My mother tongue is Serbian. Thank you for encouraging me even more!

    July 10, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

    I've heard (though I have no experience at all) that a third language is often easier, or at least not any harder, as your brain has already learned HOW to learn languages. Best of luck to you!

    July 10, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

    I can concur to that fact. And also every language after that gets relatively easier as well. The biggest gap is the second one, where you have to separate word and concept. And also understand that grammar is not a universal thing, each language has its own, which will be different from the one you learnt with your first language.

    July 10, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Ninche92

    BastouXII, I have now the great understanding of the grammar differences, because I have, by the time when I wrote the comment and now, gained grasp of the French grammar. Also, the comment gave me retrospection of my achievements, because I now know when I've started using Duolingo. :D

    October 3, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/monkieie

    Congratulations! I remember donkey's years ago when I took my first German-speaking job (me being from the England). I was far from perfect at the beginning but the main thing is that you are comfortable with speaking. The rest comes with time and being steeped in the language on a daily basis is a massive help. I hope also that I can be halfway fluent in French in a couple of years' time.

    July 10, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/CathyKimball

    My daughter, son-in-law and only grandson live in Quebec City. The grandson is why I am attempting to learn French. He does understand a lot of English since his parents are anglophones (SP?) but they want him to be primarily French speaking. So I am attempting to train myself to converse with a 3 year old speaking french. One question, how similar are the pronunciations in Quebec French to what I am hearing in duolingo?

    July 10, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

    Duolingo's robot voice leaves a lot to be desired in that it doesn't sound very natural and makes some mistakes, but the pronunciation is pretty much the same. There's a VERY strong accent where I live, but it's not back down in Québec. Certainly what you learn here will be very useful in Québec. Trying to understand a 3-year-old in a different language, though, that will be quite a challenge. Best of luck to you!

    July 10, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

    I'm really interested / curious to know how your daughter and son-in-law manage to teach French to their son while not speaking it perfectly themselves (or do they?). Do they let the kindergarten teacher do it? I admire their dedication if neither is a native French speaker. As for your interrogation, Quebec City being where I live myself and having family up in the region where Meg lives, I can concur that the accent in Quebec, while still very Québécois, is a bit easier to understand for non natives (and sometimes for natives as well ;-)). Your grandson will have no trouble understanding you, but the other way around might pose a slightly bigger problem, especially that he's still young and learning himself how to speak properly. The French taught here on Duo is technically Parisian French, so there will be some differences in pronunciation. The written French though, is exactly the same (not that it will serve you much with a 3 year old, but still that should be a relief). I have made a discussion listing a few resources specific for the French spoken in Canada, you can check it out to get a feeling of how French is spoken there. I would recommend to learn the international French first though, as the words are normally better articulated and it is easier to understand. Once you feel confident with international French, you can concentrate on the differences and some Quebec specific expressions.

    July 10, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

    Oh! And we have a similar situation : we live in Quebec but my partner is Italian (I'm French Canadian), we teach our two daughters (1 and 3 year olds) French and Italian in equal measure, and even started English with the older one. My mother has started to learn Italian here on Duolingo so as not to miss anything my daughters will say. Also, as an added bonus, learning a new language at a more advanced age helps keep the brain active and push back the first potential symptoms of Alzheimer and other memory and cognitive related illnesses.

    July 10, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/CathyKimball

    I have also thought of that added benefit of learning a new language. I sounds like you will have an interesting multilingual household.

    July 11, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/CathyKimball

    My daughter ( step-daughter actually) teaches at Laval University in French so she is quite competent speaking French, although her students sometimes mention her accent, and her husband has done quite well learning French by immersion. My grandson attends daycare where only French is spoken so they speak mostly French to him at home but keep enough English spoken at home so he can communicate with the rest of the family to some extent since we are all English speakers. I will have to check out your discussion on Canadian French. I imagine they do not have poutine in Paris.

    July 11, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/monkieie

    Primarily speaking one language is all well and good but my honest opinion is, if you are not very fluent (even better, native speaker) in a language and it is not absolutely necessary, leave your fingers off speaking to a child in that language. My boys are being brought up and from day 1 I only speak English to them and my wife German, which works out quite well. I see though that if other non-native speakers try to speak in English to them, the oldest (4 1/2 years old) gets irritated and picks up quite well the smallest of mistakes. If you do this then to a younger child, you run the risk of bringing in grave grammatical errors into that spoken language which would be much harder to iron out at a later stage.

    July 10, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/FrenchAddict7

    Me too! I've been trying to immerse myself in french since school's out, and i've definitely seen progress :D! I love being able to pronounce the french r.

    July 10, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

    Every now and then, my "r" still abandons me, haha. But yeah, it's pretty cool to have people able to understand me faster and more easily now.

    July 11, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/wyeager84

    Felicitations!!

    July 10, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

    Merci!

    July 11, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/adelejoon

    nice:) congratulations!

    July 8, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

    Thank you!

    July 8, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/psionpete

    Congratulations. That is a very motivational story and I hope one day that I will be able to tell a similar tale.

    July 8, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

    Thank you. :) And just keep pushing. It gets discouraging and frustrating at times, but all the effort adds up over time.

    July 8, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/TaisSaito

    Congratulations, that is really nice. It encourages me to study french. Hope you learn even more in your new job.

    July 8, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

    Thank you! I'm glad you find it encouraging. :) I really believed I had "no talent" for language when I took my first short French class in September of 2012. Now I'm not sure if I believe there's a huge difference in our "talents" for language. There is only motivation, desire, and hard work. And I'll definitely continue to learn in the new job. All of my training was in French yesterday. I've reached a point, thankfully, where even if I don't know a word, I can repeat the word and ask what it means. "Divan-lit" = sofa bed, haha.

    July 8, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/EllisonAlves

    Congratulations Meg! It's awesome! You motivated me to keep going straight in learn French and the others languages that i want to learn!

    July 8, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

    Thanks! And woohoo, high five! Keep on working! The feeling you get each time you realize how far you've come from the beginning...priceless!

    July 8, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/EriktheSwede

    thats AMAZING! YOU are EPIC.

    July 8, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

    Thanks! I'm not sure I've reached the level of "EPIC" yet, haha, but I feel really great about the progress I've made. :)

    July 8, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/carab728

    thanks i will try

    July 8, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/carab728

    ok thanks for the info

    July 8, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/erbe117

    Hello Meg. What made you relocate to Canada? And how did you do it? What do you mean by the "staff speak some English" ? Can the majority of canadians sustain a conversation in English?

    July 9, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

    A handsome young Royal Canadian Air Force officer was posted to Oklahoma's air force base in 2008. I met him just as he was returning from a deployment in fall of 2010. We started hanging out (our second "date" was me cooking him soup at his place and then watching a movie, because he had a terrible cold), and we were just instantly very comfortable with each other. After a very short time, we decided to take a vacation to Mexico together. I fell in love with him at that resort. It took him a little longer. He never said he loved me until the middle of the night, in Jamaica on another vacation.

    Fast forward through a year and a bit, moving in together, him deploying again, him requesting an extension in Oklahoma and being quickly denied, and (via Skype while he was deployed) him telling me, "I talked to my career manager today. There's no recourse. I'm going to Saguenay." (By this time, he'd mentioned Saguenay to me, and I'd looked it up on wikipedia, as I'd never heard of it before - 98% French...okay!) So we got married, and I moved up here with him, leaving behind the life I knew. That was July of 2012, and in September of 2012, I started my first French class.

    By "the staff speak some English," I mean that the staff at the hotel where I just started working speak some English. The front desk staff, with whom I work most closely, are funtionally biliingual (if I don't know a word in French, or if I want to make a quick joke in English, they seem to understand with no trouble, and they can check English-speaking guests in using English). Of the other staff, I haven't really learned specifics about most of them (as it's a French environment, so I haven't tried to talk to most of them in English), but some have told me, "Oh, your French is much better than my English," so I know they have some English. For most of them, I imagine, they had some English classes in high school, though some have more experience than that. One of the other receptionists went to the English immersion school here, so she barely has an accent in the little bit of English I've heard her speak.

    Yes, English is the mother tongue of the majority of Canadians. However, I'm in Québec, where French is the mother tongue for most (here where I live, like I said above, 98% claim French as their maternal language).

    July 9, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/erbe117

    Congratulations for nabbing that handsome guy! And thanks for your stories !

    July 9, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

    Haha, thanks! I tell him all the time that HE is lucky he nabbed ME. I spoil him pretty rotten. :) Though he spoils me, too, in his own ways.

    July 9, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/driusan

    Félicitations!

    July 10, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

    Merci!

    July 10, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/paulscon

    Awesome work!

    July 10, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

    Thanks!

    July 10, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Jak2333

    May I ask what steps you took after Duolingo to progress further? Very curious!

    July 10, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

    As I said, I used Duolingo to supplement my other learning. I live in an area where 98% of the people are Francophones. There's some bilingualism, but most people don't speak functional English. So I've been forced to use French whenever I'm out and about for the almost two years now. The military offered spouses some very limited French courses (5 hours of instruction per week, no homework, and over half of our 7 participants were bored housewives who just wanted to talk about their kids - in ENGLISH). Took two of those, then got into a 20-hour/week military French course. After a month and a half of that, I became a permanent resident and qualified for Québec's immigrant French courses. I took two of those over the span of 6 months. In the meantime, I was using Duolingo, a little bit of Rosetta Stone (I'm not a huge fan; it lacks the explanations that Duo's discussion feature gives, so I found it frustrating), renting DIsney movies dubbed in French, listening to French talk radio whenever I drove, and reading children's books. I'm in an online admin, law, and business French course (another offering for immigrants here in Québec), but I'm thinking of dropping it, as the job is going to keep me very busy (I'm also still a full-time "femme au foyer" with a husband I love to spoil!), and I need to be reading more in French.

    July 10, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

    I was wondering how many of those English speaking military spouses were American and how many were Canadian. Because you mentioned somewhere that many English speakers you encountered said they had had bad experiences with French speakers being rude to them, while you did not. Apart the fact that someone would be condescending or rude in the first place, I though it may come from the demonization of French speakers, especially those from Quebec, in English Canadian media (don't worry, we get the same about the English speaker Canadians in our French media, you may have noticed), which you wouldn't have experienced, being from the US.

    July 10, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

    I know of two other American military spouses up here (though they're married to Americans who are here on exchange, while I'm married to a Canadian). The rest of the Anglophone spouses I know are Canadian. I do think that, due to politics and history and preconceptions, the Québécois up here are more welcoming to Americans than Canadians. And I have the advantage (or, more accurately, the lack of the disadvantage?) of not having been told my whole life that the Québécois won't like me, or will resent me for not speaking French, etc. But having said that, I still think a lot of it is up to the individual. A new friend moved here from Saskatchewan, and I gave her a few tips I'd learned in the year I'd been here at that time. I make sure to have a friendly demeanor, if not a full-on smile, at least making sure I'm not frowning or furrowing my brow. When my French was really poor, I started with a smile and an apology, "Excusez-moi, désolée, je sais que mon français n'est pas bon, mais j'ai besoin d'aide." Acknowledging that French is the language here, and that the communication difficulties came from MY side seemed to make EVERYONE I met sweet and helpful and very understanding.

    We can be so quick to rush to judgement. I was at the grocery store last week, and I couldn't find the molasses. I asked a lady who worked there where it was. She never made eye contact and snapped a quick "cinqième" at me. I wandered off to aisle 5, couldn't find it, and spent a LOT of time on aisles 4 and 5 before finally spotting it on 4. Got to the caisse, and the lady who'd directed me to aisle 5 saw me, smiled, and asked if I'd found the molasses. I told her I had, but it was on aisle 4. She apologize and kind of smacked her palm against her forehead (which I guess is the universal gesture for "duh" or "silly me"). I giggled and told her that she was at least close, and that I searched both aisles at least three times before finding it. She wasn't rude, as I so easily could have concluded at first. She was preoccupied with some task, caught up in her own head, and I'd interrupted that. She was perfectly friendly when she wasn't busy with something else.

    Being open-minded, and knowing that if someone is rude and has a problem with your language skills (or whatever, really), that it's THEIR problem, not yours, goes a long way toward being confident and having good experiences.

    July 10, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Jak2333

    Thanks for this. Interesting and helpful to know!

    July 10, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

    It's part of my bigger social philosophy that the world is kind of a giant mirror, reflecting back what you put out into it. If you put out positivity, and friendliness, and openness, it's what you get most often in return. ;)

    (And no, I'm not some super-woman, who's positive all the time. It takes a lot of effort, and I have my failures and shortcomings and bad days. But I pick myself back up and try again.)

    July 10, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

    Meg, of course you have your bad days, as everyone else. And sometimes people are rude because they are on a bad day themselves, for every kind of reasons not related to you.

    So you've seen the poisonous influences of hatred building between English and French speakers happening in the media. And you can now compare the French media to its English counterpart! It's very frustrating because almost no one (French or English speaker) is that aggressive towards the other "solitude", even the most convinced separatists. As you said, the initial attitude counts much more towards the reactions you'll provoke than the language you speak or the country you're from.

    July 10, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/prky
    • 2016

    Meg_in_Quebec, Do you know about the blog OffQC ? It's a blog that explains the nuances of the French spoken in Quebec with examples taken from everyday media, to see and listen to. The author also has books you can order online. It's a very interesting blog and may be of interest to you.

    September 17, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/elles_bellz

    Je suis anglaise mais j'ai appris le francais au Quebec! Tu travailles en quelle ville? Je suis d'accord duolingo est super je suis en train d'apprendre la langue espagnole!

    July 10, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

    J'habite à Saguenay.

    J'ai essayé des leçons en espagnol avant de voyager en Espagne. Je n'ai pas fait beaucoup de progrès. Peut-être c'est parce j'ai beaucoup plus de motivation pour le français actuellement.

    July 11, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/ReidHT

    Congrats!

    July 11, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

    Thanks!

    July 11, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Lingo.Mania

    You are indeed a big source of inspiration! Outstanding achievement and keep moving forward to hone your skills. Before I got to know DuoLingo, I'd never seen in my wildest dreams to be able to pick up another language so effortlessly but now the sky's the limit. It's an uncanny feeling I hope you enjoy since you've earned it all the way. Big up for you and your incredible feat!!

    July 11, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

    Thank you for the kind words!

    This isn't something I ever thought I'd do. If you had told me three short years ago that I'd be here today, working in my first bilingual position, I'd have laughed and wondered what kind of drugs you were on. Life holds some funny twists and turns sometimes.

    July 11, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Lingo.Mania

    LOL! My feelings exactly! You never know what future holds for you. Hopefully, it springs more and more surprises for you and you manage to hit the big time in your job as well as your language acquisition. ATB

    July 11, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

    I'm fine with no more "surprises" for a little while, haha! Life is good right now. I'm finally working, so I can save toward replacing my car and building a storage shed. (We're lucky that hubby's salary supports us okay without me working, but the big expenses are a lot more challenging without two incomes.) Hubby is working on his private pilot license, so in the next few months I should get to see our beautiful region by air. And as long as I don't freak out due to stress, I have the opportunity to get PAID to keep working on my French, haha. Life is treating me just fine without any surprises! (As a military wife, surprises can be terrifying.)

    July 11, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Lingo.Mania

    It was meant to be only sweet surprises, of course : ))) My bad to have left that out! Anyway, I'm glad you are content with your current life. At the end of the day, What matters is that you are pursuing your dreams as a family and always stay together, no matter what. I'm more than sure you won't freak out and make a huge success of your job being a spirited lady you are. Cheers!

    July 11, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

    So it's not all sunshine and roses. Yesterday was my fourth day of training, and it was not a great French day for me (some days it's easy, some days less so; yesterday was a "less so" day). For a period of around one hour, I had an EXTREMELY difficult time understanding the guests who approached me. It made me feel better that my (Francophone) coworker even had trouble with one guy. He talked like his mouth was full of cotton, or, as they say around here, like he had a "patate dans la bouche." All I could catch was something about "savon," otherwise I was lost.

    It was pretty discouraging, and I admit there were a few minutes there where I wanted to curl up on a couch somewhere and cry. But I kept a smile plastered on my face, leaned on my coworker for help, and pushed through. It got better after the first hour or hour and a half. There had been a large group gathering in the lobby, and even in English, I don't hear well with a lot of background noise, so that was probably part of it.

    This job will definitely push me past my comfort zone. Classroom and Duolingo French are great, but out in the real world, it's still quite a challenge. Perhaps the biggest challenge will be NOT letting the self-doubt cripple my confidence, especially here at the beginning. My coworkers are very helpful and supportive, and I know, given time and more familiarity with all of our processes and procedures, that my language skills will improve. I just have to keep on plugging away.

    July 11, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/daniela.greca

    Bonjour Meg. Je suis Italienne et je connais assez bien le français et l'anglais. Quel est ton ID Skype? Si tu veux on peut converser en langue et amelorer l'une l'autre. ça te dit? Ecrit-moi par e-mail si tu le veux! Tu sera la bienvenue et j'aura le plaisir de te lire. (danielagreca77ògmail.com)

    July 11, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

    Vous ne devriez pas afficher vos contacts personnels ainsi publiquement en ligne, au risque de recevoir beaucoup de pourriels (spam, e-mail indesiderabili). Un meilleur moyen - tout de même pas optimal, mais le mieux que l'on puisse faire étant donné que Duolingo n'offre pas la possibilité d'envoyer de messages privés - est de l'écrire en le décrivant plutôt que littéralement (par exemple, mon nom d'usager sans le point suivi du nombre soixante-dix-sept dans le courriel de Google), et dans le activity stream de la personne plutôt que dans une discussion publique.

    July 11, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

    Merci de votre offre, mais je n'ai pas le temps pour converser avec des gens que je ne connais pas.

    July 13, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/AyeAyeZaw

    Wow..! Your post encourages me a lot to keep learning French. I'm just beginner and I'd like to be like you one day, hopefully. Merci beaucoup! :)

    July 12, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

    Thanks, and good luck with your French studies!

    July 14, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/whollyholly

    Wow, how exciting! I envy you!

    July 12, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Meg_in_Canada

    While this (living in this area) is not something I chose for myself, and while a lot of the Anglophones who move here aren't particularly happy to be here, I chose to see it as an opportunity. It's sure a great way to learn a new language!

    July 14, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/LoadedLingots

    Good For you. Make sure you keep doing your streak

    July 13, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/savage_queen01

    Thanks for the encouragement. I am trilingual and am also learning french and spanish.

    January 10, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/LogannnM

    Wow good job!

    February 18, 2017
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