Posts Tagged ‘french. language’

5 Things that still give me trouble in French

Written by Diane. Posted in French language

Learning a language is a process. A very long, ongoing process. There are ups and downs and it’s been anything but linear for me. Even though I’ve lived in France for about 5-1/2 years now, I don’t speak French perfectly. For anyone who has studied a foreign language, that won’t come as a shock. You don’t just pick up a language to the point of perfection by osmosis simply by being in one of the countries where it’s spoken.

What has happened is I’ve majorly improved and speak at an advanced level at this point. But I still learn something new daily. So much of how you progress is within your control and you can make major improvements no matter your current level. I’ve increased my vocabulary and over time have become so much more confident when speaking to new people. I’ve majorly improved my comprehension, which was one of the most difficult things for me when I first arrived.

things that are still hard in french

But then there’s the other side of the spectrum. This post is the one where I tell all about the 5 things that still give me major difficulty in French.



How to use context when speaking French

Written by Diane. Posted in French language, on life in France

How to use context to reduce anxiety when speaking French-001

Learning a new language is no joke. There’s always something new to learn and your comprehension and speaking abilities may not advance at the same speed. When you’re in France and need to converse face-to-face with French people, all your classroom learning gets very real.

For all the times you understand and reply without a hitch, you’ll have other times where you’re going to stumble, not understand and sometimes want to run and hide. Even the most confident person gets butterflies in their stomach when speaking French in a new situation. Having to speak up in a crowded boulangerie, with someone you’ve never met, or in front of a large group can create all kinds of anxiety.

But you have one extremely helpful tool at your disposal and all you need to do is to open your eyes: context.

Here’s how to use context when speaking French. Read on!

Why getting complimented on your French means you’re not fluent

Written by Diane. Posted in French language

Why people complimenting your French means you've got a ways to go toward fluency1

You’ve been living in France for a little while now. At first, it might seem like a good thing when native French speakers compliment your French. Yay, someone has noticed! You feel proud, accomplished and like you’ve made progress… and you should feel all of these things. Congrats! Language learning is hard. But the real marker of progress is when native French speakers stop complimenting you on your French. That’s when you know you’ve majorly improved. Yes, really. Why is this the case?

Read on!

“Pardon My French” by Stephen Hare is the French book you’ve been waiting for

Written by Diane. Posted in French language


The other day I dusted off a French grammar book on my bookshelf, and about 5 minutes into my little lesson, I regretted cracking it open. I found myself reading a section on the historic past tense, a tense you will never need because it’s rarely used anymore. It seemed unnecessary to know and just confused me, so to stave off any further frustration, I put the book back on the shelf. A few days later, Stephen Hare’s Pardon My French arrived in the mail and I was eager to start reading. Insightful, interesting, and best of all, practical, this is THE book you want to add to your French learning repertoire.

I’m telling you why in my review!

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