Je besoin de pratiquer la langue!

black haired woman singing

If anyone who reads this blog can remember, I started learning a new language late in life. I have been steadily at it for almost four years. I have flash cards (no English) in my truck, podcasts, computer software and apps that help me along the journey. It also helps that I have a substitute teacher at my school who speaks French as her native language, having migrated from Africa. She is very patient with me. Since my post on April 30th about bucket-list trip to France to watch the Tour, I feel myself becoming more and more anxious. Like preparing so hard for a bike race and then day of the race butterflies come out when it is go time. Did I prepare enough? What will I do if this happens? If the result of the race is a crushing defeat, will I lose heart?

The language is still very wonderful to learn; however, I am still getting those “Oh my gosh” moments when the I get lost in the conversation. Then I get so down on myself and well . . . frustrated. It is odd to me how, when I am relaxed and doing my lessons or going over my flash cards, it is so easy to remember and understand; but as soon as I listen to a full blown conversation on television or my friend opens into a long dialogue at my school, it is like my brain goes into a fog. Is this something I can overcome? At this point, I really do not know. Then there is our trip in July. Oh my.

I have written something like this before, but I am still seeking answers. I am perfectly fine in the opening dialogue of meeting someone new, ordering food and drinks, booking my flight, checking into a hotel, asking for directions and so forth; but it is juuuuuuust after the opening lines and the small banter, when the person who assumes I am fluent, launches into me, I begin to stumble . . . hard. J’ai du mal a comprendre 😦 I mean I am not scared to talk. En fait, I love to talk. I am excited about being immersed in the culture for two weeks, just a bit apprehensive about how discouraging it could possibly be.

So for now, I will keep pounding away.

Bon Vélo!

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7 thoughts on “Je besoin de pratiquer la langue!

  1. Go easy on yourself. Learning a language without complete immersion is hard. The French will absolutely appreciate any effort. I lived in France for 7 years, loved it and am now fluent. You’ll typically understand more than you can speak, but just accept that your explanations will be less elegant than they might be in English. Don’t be shy and go for it. If you do that, you’ll learn super fast.

    1. That’s great advice, Alex. I appreciate it. I feel it’s gonna be great! I keep thinking how cool it will be to spin in the mountains, passing through small towns and trying out my communication skills. 🙂 You and Sheree have boosted my confidence.

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