Bonjour mon ami! Bienvenue 🙂 Never mind me I’m just practicing.
So earlier this year I decided to start formally learning French, it has been something I had been thinking about for a while and I decided to take the plunge and sign up. I’ve always been fascinated by French and it’s one of the international languages that I’d always try to speak and butcher my way through so I decided that I need to stop disrespecting the language and do the right thing. This is the first time I have learnt a new language outside of the school system so it’s a bit daunting for me.
It’s always been a fascinating language for me and I’ve always had this interest towards it. During the last couple of years at work I’ve been on a project pan-African project team that also includes people from Francophone Africa. What I realised is that Francophones try to speak a bit of English but us English speaking Africans are lacking soooo much! I’ve also traveled and will continue traveling to French speaking regions and I want to be able to converse with people even on a basic level.
Choosing a school
After looking through a number of French schools is Durban I settled on Alliance Francaise because of the way the lessons were set up, the cost and because it was a familiar brand. I’m currently doing 4 hours of French lessons per week (2hr lessons, twice a week), unfortunately I’ve had to miss some lessons because of travel, but when I’m awayI do try to get in some learning. What I enjoy about the lessons is that they’re very interactive and different learning methods are used. Our teacher also incorporates teaching us about French culture, music, film and current affairs so we’ll become more well rounded French students.
Other methods of learning
So being the nerd that I am I do more than just learn French in the classroom, I realise that if I want to master the language I need to bring it into my every day life. So I have started following some Francophone twitter accounts, so whenever I come across a French tweet I translate it and check if I get it right. I also follow some Francophone Instagram accounts, I even write comments in French ;). I watch French shows on Netflix (with French subtitles), I’m currently watching Chef’s Table and a documentary on the bombings in Paris 2 years ago. I’ve tried listening to French podcasts but I literally cannot follow the conversation, they speak too fast for my very elementary understanding of the language.
Progress thus far
You know what, I’m proud of my progress – I’ve learnt so much in the past nearly 2 months. I can hold a mini conversation with a patient person and my reading and understanding is not too shabby. I still find it hard to understand when people speak at their normal pace because French words are a *beep* to understand.
1. My brain needs extra time to process the words spoken
2. pronounciations still have me stumped
3. French words are spelt differently, are pronounced the same & mean totally different things 😩😩
But we soldier on! 💪🏾
— ✨Lungi ✨ (@ByLungi) March 6, 2019
I’m so determined to master the language and who knows once I feel comfortable enough I might just spoil myself with a trip to France 🇫🇷🇫🇷