My love/hate affair with the French language


One of my oldest goals, and the one recurring every year on the new year’s wish list, is to learn a new language. Mostly French.

I have done a year’s beginner classes with the Alliance Française in Colombo, Sri Lanka and 5 months’ classes in Male, Maldives.

I spent half of 2013 in two places where they spoke French as a main language. Pondicherry, India and Taghazout, Morocco. We even did biweekly French classes at our surf camp in Taghazout (which I stopped going to after a while because the rest of the class were too new to French and I wasn’t getting anywhere). Did any of this help me with my French? At the time, maybe. But I doubt I can hold up a conversation in French with anyone right now (maybe just a little bit).

Learning French didn’t make it to my 2014 list somehow. I think surfing was my only goal for 2014 (and I kind of must have given up on French).

But now, again it has come into my consciousness. The need to get immersed in a new language. I thought I’d let French go for a while and tried German for a couple of weeks. I used the app Duolingo on my mobile phone, and it was actually fun! People always have told me that German was hard. But it was actually alright! And FUN! Maybe Duolingo was just good with German (their French version wasn’t that fun).

So now, as the new year looms, I would like to challenge myself again. I wondered which language I should pick. German? Spanish? Italian? Japanese? Hindi? French??

I have decided that the best way for me to learn any new language is to go live in a place where they only spoke that language and where I would be forced to make an effort to learn it. Like how Benny the Irish polyglot does. No English whatsoever! Pondicherry and Taghazout didn’t work because so many people spoke English, so it was just easier to not even try.

My great idea is to go to Europe in 2016 and learn one of the Roman languages. Probably French. Again. *sigh*. It would be seriously nice to be able to speak in another foreign language as fluently as I speak in English.

So, in preparation for that, I am going to commit to listening to French radio, read French, write French and spend a few minutes each day learning French.

Good luck to myself!