French

La langue française

Dear French, 

Bonjour mon vieil ami! We meet again. After all those years in high school doing page after page of grammar practices, sitting in Madame Anderson’s class thinking to myself, What the heck are they saying?, as she played us a recording of French speakers speaking at the speed of light, baking madeleine cookies for class, or writing verb conjugations of Avoir over and over again, remember? So, many memories. Ah, les souvenirs. I can go on. 

I have to say I’m glad that you let me in. I’m truly sorry that I shut you out of my life all these years. I did not think that it was really practical or possible to learn and understand you during a period of my life. Nine years to be more exact. So, for almost a full decade, my negativity and criticism would often cloud my thoughts when I thought of you and our past together. Though, people change. Thoughts and opinions change. People are pulled towards what’s meant to be. So, maybe it is fate that leads me back to you. 

Well, I am glad that you are so understanding and accepting. Welcoming, even. Merci pour tout et tout à venir. I appreciate it and I look forward to getting to know you for the rest of my life. Imitating your strange nasal sounds and stumbling my way through the sea of grammar exceptions and verb conjugations galore. I hope that we stay in touch. Maybe one day I’ll even have a dream in French or, better yet, get to visit your home country. Shout out to France, La Ville Lumière, and the taste of cuisine française! Oui, oui, oui!

Beaucoup d’amour,
Janelle

Alors…oui c’est vrai. This month I announced that I have restarted the never-ending process of learning French after nine years of no French.

French was the first foreign language that I started studying, so, it holds a special place in my heart. I was fourteen years old when I took my first French class at Woodcreek High School with Madame Anderson. I continued taking French classes with Madame for the duration of high school. I NEVER  learned how to speak conversationally during that time and scrapped by with a solid B in the class. Despite sticking with it, it was not easy. The grammar rules and the pronunciation. New lessons and sounds could go in one ear and out the other. I am pretty sure that I mispronounced words like cahier (pronounced cai-yay) consistently. I was never really taught pronunciation step by step. The mouth formations and the nasal sounds are quite different from English. Yet, it was a fun class and I had a dream of learning French back then. 

I thought that dream had fizzled out when my parents refused to pay my way to France for a two week long trip with my teacher and some other students. They didn’t have the money so no hard feelings.  However, I decided to come back to it because I know that I can do it. I have taught myself so much Spanish, therefore, I feel like I can give French another chance. Multiple chances even. 

Spanish is my main target language at the moment. Though, I will be getting increasingly familiar with the basics of French this year as well. 

Resources that I am using to learn some French this month –

All of the resources that I use are free except for the Udemy course. I paid about $25.00 for two Udemy courses that received great reviews. 
It is really wonderful that we have to many free resources thanks to the internet and people that just want to teach languages. Merci beaucoup!

Let me know in the comments if you are also learning French and what resources you are using. Bon apprentissage!

Beaucoup d’amour, 

Rosa Janelle

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