How to Learn French
Sometimes I get these crazy ideas in my head. Things I want to learn, for no particular reason. Studying French qualifies.
That said, I have my reasons...
1. Studying a language wards off senility; I may be a little early on this one, but that's okay
2. French is sexy and that has its appeal (true confession :)
3. When the ballet teacher says renversez, I remember I just learned it means "to spill." This kind of matches what I am supposed to do (bow from the waist, with a flat back and look graceful).
4. If I ever go to France again I can order my croissant in French instead of Spanish. This is a plus.
5. Some day I'll be able to read French poetry (sexy, times two)
This is all well and good, but studying French is one of the hardest things I've ever done (with the possible exception of beginning ballet as an adult.)
Here is what I'm doing to try to smooth the process:
1. Suspend my disbelief (this is hard to do when you've got a whole incomprehensible language before you, but I think it's essential)
2. Listen to French music every day; it helps me get that lilting pronunciation in my head
3. Read children's books. They are repetitive, which is good. I just have to hold back the sense that I can't even understand what the average French-speaking two-year-old can understand. (My current personal favorite is Je Vais Me Sauver)
4. Do one chapter in First Start French I every day. Try not to worry that I already forgot a third of yesterday's lesson.
5. When I'm not too lazy and forgetful, listen to that Frenchpod.com subscription I paid for. It I ever meet the President's wife, I will know how to say a proper hello. And if a friend falls during skiing I will know how to tell him to get back up after he renverse (spills himself not so gracefully).
For anyone who is interested, here is the basic conjugation of the verb renverser, which means to spill, topple, turn over...
Marseilles Top of City photo, by L.L. Barkat.
Labels: how to learn French