Learning French As An Adult: How NOT to do it! My French learning story (English subtitles)


Hello everyone! As promised I am going to film this video in French to celebrate my 1000 subscribers! 1000! It’s crazy! Be kind with me please and please excuse my New Zealand accent Let’s go! Although I am not at all fluent or completely fluid in French, it gives me the occasion to get over my fears one step at a time by speaking French with you I hope that I will watch this video in 2 years and say Wow, I have made so much progress in French! And as you have understood The subject of this video is indeed my level of French and how I went about learning French as an adult starting absolutely from scratch. I had the idea from one of my subscribers, Emma who used the Ask Me Anything form which I put each time in the description box of my videos by the way And Emma asked me Firstly, Thank You Emma for your question But I am not sure that I am the role model that you are looking for because I was a very bad student when it came to learning French But as I did all the things you shouldn’t do I am going to answer you by explaining all the things Al the things you SHOULDN’T do so that you can French much faster than I. So a bit of history, I arrived in France 4 years ago now and didn’t speak a word of French. Okay, I’m exaggerating a little I learnt a few words and expressions Bonjour, Merci S’il vous plaît I took evening courses for 4 weeks so I knew numbers and colours Which weren’t very useful the very first weeks! My mother-in-law there like “Rosie, have you eaten enough?”and me in a total panic “rouge, six” (red, six) So I didn’t learn anything at school and then when I arrived in France I made matters worse by doing the following things: The first mistake I made was being too scared to speak! I was incredibly timid, I felt stupid I felt like a small child and so I stayed in my comfort zone, speaking English. Of course I spoke a little French when I went to the bakery or to the pharmacy But aside from that, I was never pushed to speak French and i should have pushed myself actually. I studied in English, interned in English built relationships with others in English Other expats of course but even with French people in my course who were bilingual. Even if I started to have some French words/phrases in mind If there was a 1% risk of making a mistake I prefered to stay in English. And as I was shy, it suited me perfectly and in the end I took the easiest route It seems obvious but you shouldn’t do that – you need to dare, speak dare again, make lots of mistakes Nobody minds! The second thing to NOT do is to not work in your French every single day. As I didn’t learn languages at school, I didn’t know how to learn French! And I thought for a long time that if only I had the academic theory the grammar fundamentals I could start speaking afterwards The problem with this plan is that we never find time to do that in life, especially if we work or study! So I was spending one hour max per week to learn French No no no! You need to integrate French into your daily routine as much as possible. Listen to the podcasts CoffeeBreak French or News in Slow French during your daily commute Do a bit of Duolingo during your coffee break, speak as often as possible, listen to French music while you are at the gym or running Change your Netflix settings and watch your series in French firstly with English subtitles and then with French ones Try to make at least 5 points of contact with the language per day That’s how we make progress! The 3rd thing to not do is not make the most of your French boyfriend or your French girlfriend. People say it’s the best way in the world to learn French, to fall in love with a Frenchman or a Frenchwomen Sure, if you speak in French! Don’t do as I did I’ve been with my boyfriend for 5 years and we speak exclusively in English And of course his English is now perfect and he’s lost his French accent My French, however, still needs a little loving! I tried several times to change with my French boyfriend but I have the impression that we don’t know eachother We lose our personal jokes, our personalities…it’s a vicious circle because I have the impression that I’m not quite able to be funny in French for example But if I had spent the last 5 years speaking French with him, we might expect that I would have been able to by now get my personality back. The fourth and final thing that I wanted to share with you is to avoid speaking in French at work like if it were the plague! Again, I felt silly in French as if I were Less intelligent Less impressive, less impactful, less able to negotiate for example and it IS true, it’s the case. However, without working in French, we never learn such subtilities in a book for example You need to work in French to learn how to work in French. It’s as simple as that. So don’t do as I did by resting in your comfort zone and by targeting jobs in English or your mother tongue But dare to work in French as I aim to do for my next role Finally! So all that just to say that it took me 4 years to start speaking like this but if you’re not a bad student like I was you could count on it taking more like 2 years if you continue to work in English or study but if you work in French for example or you immerse yourself completely it’s more like 6 months to a year And of course the French respond to you from time to time in English but my advice is simply to continue speaking in French Even if you feel silly It’s the principle! But in general I find the French very generous on this point. They compliment you a lot all the time on your level of French, even if you’re a beginner My colleagues tell me a lot that I made progress and that my accent is so charming that it’s not a problem They’re just so happy that you’re making an effort to learn their language that they give you almost too much encouragement! It’s so kind! So that’s all! If you can stand my French and you want me to continue and want me to do, I don’t know, one video per month or something like that Please give me a thumbs up or write a comment below! Thanks again Emma for your question Love you guys and see you in the next video See you soon!

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