Jun. 10th, 2015

piranha: red origami crane (Default)
it is embarrassing how hard it sucks. i mean, i knew it was never very good, and i know if you don't use it you lose it (even your native tongue will start to fade some if you don't use it for decades). but i didn't realize it had atrophied to the point of uselessness.

i don't have anyone to blame but myself. sure, my high school teacher was a drill sergeant with the most horrible accent imaginable (i am all with the japanese on wanting native speakers to teach their kids), and that did not endear french to anyone in my class. when i moved to france and was actually looking forward to fix my accent problems, worked pretty hard on that for a few weeks, and then meekly tried it out, the reaction was unfriendly. which, being as i was not only introverted but also shy and socially anxious, shut me right down. furthermore, i worked for a dutch company in geneva, and while i lived across the border in france, and this might scream "yay, immersion", the apartment complex i lived in was full of lower echelon diplomatic folks from all across the world, and for the most part english was the lingua franca. so i managed to live in france and work in french-speaking switzerland and did not improve my french by much. and once i left, well, that was that. i could kick myself for that now.

the next time i used it was when the paramour and i travelled from ontario to the maritimes, which brought us through quebec. we barely managed to inquire about a hotel room in french. but the reception was ever so much more friendly than it had been in france. same when i travelled to montreal to visit jo; everyone was clearly pleased that i tried to speak french, even though i sucked at it.

i'm pretty sure if i lived in quebec i'd be fluent now. *sigh*. i think it's a shame to make my home in canada and not speak both official languages fluently (i know most people wouldn't care, and i'm not saying they should, but i do). so i decided the next language i tackle ought to be french, and this time i want to speak it from the start, since that turned out to be such a stumbling block last time. but to achieve that, i was arguing that i really need to start from scratch. yet part of me was arguing that -- since i can actually read a french newspaper and get the gist of an article -- that would be a waste of time, and who has time to waste.

then i sat down and tried to describe the room i was in, out loud in french.

yeah -- starting from scratch will not be a waste of time.

i still have to look for a primary textbook. i will mostly use anki for spaced repetition of vocabulary. in the meantime i've started to take basic introductory lessons on both memrise and duolingo. detailed comparison pulled from comments under the cut )


piranha: red origami crane (Default)
renaissance poisson

July 2015

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