My adventure into learning a French has taken me over a year of daily Duolingo lessons, and insisting my mum speak to me in French, slowly, when we catch up (she’s fluent, it’s her first language, but she hasn’t spoken it day to day for ages, so she insists she’s forgotten a lot of words). I’m starting to be able to translate sentences and describe things to myself, in very basic French. I can read a little and I feel like I’m getting. But holy hell I can’t understand anyone speaking French at normal human speed.
What I expect to hear:
Bonjour! Comment ça va? Le temperature est bien adjour’hui, non?
What I actually hear:
The solution is to submerge myself in French, somehow, to get my ear in. And to build up vocabulary and confidence so I’m not trying to translate to English on the fly as I listen, which goes something like this:
“Okay, the first word there was hello, I missed the second, third, forth and fifth words while I was translating the first, and the sixth word is one I’m unfamiliar with, but sounds like a word I am familiar with, but now I’ve missed the rest of the sentence.”
C’est trés difficile, mais je persisterai, parce que c’est important je connaise une autre langue ancestrale. Et le grec est trop dur.
It’s very difficult, but I will persist, because it’s important I know one of my ancestral languages. And Greek is way too hard.