You’ve likely never known about these.
French didn’t come simple to me.
As a foreigner learning the language in my 30s, I didn’t pick it up as quick as I’d trusted.
I tried French classes (online and face to face), language apps, books, digital broadcasts, and movies.
Nothing gave me what I really wanted: The confidence to communicate in French.
It likewise didn’t help that I lived in Paris, worked from home, and communicated in English with my better half. Perfectionism prevented me from trying more diligently.
So what changed?
In 2020, we moved from Paris to the Normandy countryside, where everybody from my in-regulations to the cows communicated in French.
Of course, the non-English environment made a difference. Yet, what really assisted with my spoken and written French were these tiny however mighty ways:
Playing loto (or bingo) at the city center
If you’re a bingo player, then you know one should be lightning quick to get every one of the numbers. Presently, have a go at doing that in French with 3-5 playing cards. Pressure.
Reading sentiment promotions in the paper
Recollect those “looking for adoration” promotions once upon a time? They still exist! Generally French “searchers” are in their 60s and 70s. I love reading concise, adjective-rich expectations and dreams.
Talking with con artists on the telephone
I get calls from con artists consistently. Indeed, companies penetrated my privacy, dammit! Yet, that is not the point.
Here lies an opportunity to play the trickster’s down. I seek clarification on some things. I profess to interested before say, “Yet wait, how could you get my number? Are you a trickster?” I love hearing them sweat before blocking the number.
As far as I might be concerned, that is a free 5-minute class on French conversations.
Reading Google and Amazon reviews
A French sentence structure book won’t show you how to write what you think and feel. Yet, take a stab at reading client reviews (especially the disgruntled ones!) and you’ll figure out how genuine individuals talk. Before long, I had the option to write a scathing, one-star Amazon review in French.
Walking the canine
80% (80%) of the time, my adorable wirehaired dachshund draws in individuals. So when an individual methodologies, the inevitable occurs: Casual discussion. I’ve met such countless individuals, because of my pet.
Saying “Parlez-vous lentement, s’il vous plaît?”
Sometimes individuals talk excessively quick. So I’ll joke something like “Wait, don’t leave me!” and request that the individual log jam. This shows I’m interested in what they need to say, so they become more patient. Works each time.
The biggest shift for me was…
I became weary of perfectionist tendencies.
I would rather not talk wonderful French. I simply need to communicate. Progress, not perfection, right?
Your turn! Have you at any point mastered another dialect or skill in a tomfoolery or strange way?