French, my good old friend

I had french lessons for ten years in school. Ten years. And the sad thing is, that I am not capable of writing, understanding and speaking a word in french and I totally know it is mostly my own fault. Let me tell you a little bit about why I failed that dramatically and why I regret it now.

In the first few years of learning french, grade 1 to 4 (age 6-9), I really liked french, maybe because it wasn’t the ‘real’ french. We did not learn to conjugate verbs or anything related to grammar, we just learned basic vocabulary (and ate croissants I guess). So I went into High School (Gymnasium in Germany; grade 5, age 9/10) thinking it was very easy. Well, I was wrong. The first class test was a total disaster, I got a very bad mark and I was so demotivated by that that I basically stopped caring about french. With puberty and stupid teen years ahead, I wasn’t able to get back to taking french ‘serious’ until grade ten, which was my last year. By then, my knowledge gaps were way too huge to catch up with the others so I stumbled through year ten and at the end I was super happy that I never had to take a class test in french again!

CC BY-ND flickr user: refreshment_66

But why am I thinking/writing about this now? Well, as you may noticed my English is a little bit better than my french and I start to realize how cool it would be to speak another foreign language… I love watching movies in English, reading in English, having conversations in English and actually sometimes even thinking in English. And only now I realize how amazing it would be to have access to a whole other language world with great literature, movies and people to explore. I just really like being bilingual, so I guess I would like it even more to be ‘trilingual’. And french would be a nice language to speak since I live very close to the french border, like literally less than an hour away.

On the other hand, I know that reaching a basic level of understanding and being able to have conversations is pretty hard in french with its hundreds of verb forms and grammar exceptions, so I am not sure if I will be capable of learning it. Also, I have the fear, that over the hours and hours of boredom in the French lessons I turned kind of immune to learning French and that my brain won’t let me learn it…

Nevertheless I am playing with the thought of trying to learn French after my Abitur more than ever (ahhh :O my Abi is in 2.5 months, wish me luck) and I just think it would be lovely to go to Paris and talk with people there or even just go across the border and order something in a restaurant in French.

If I start learning French properly after the Abitur I’ll definitely let you know. And I would be very interested in what language you always wanted to learn but you didn’t have the guts to do so 🙂 Let me know in the comments!

I hope you liked my blogpost today, which came to my mind because of the daily prompt translate! 🐻


Aaron ⭐

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16 thoughts on “French, my good old friend

    1. Yes, I am definitely planning to learn it properly! And the best thing is that the use for me isn’t even limited on books, songs, TV like it is with English (because I don’t live near English speaking countries) and that I can just go on a weekend trip to France 🙂

      And how do you learn it? Are you attending a class or using a website? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Hey Aaron! I also started learning French a few years ago, though I did it on my own, via Memrise… I am not saying this is the best method to learn a language, but in my case it proved to be very addictive, and gave me some basic knowledge. Later I discovered duolingo which is probably even better. Anyway, your situation is extremely familiar to me because I had the same experience with German. I had it for 8 years, 4 years in primary school, and 4 years in high school and I learned nothing. Total zero. After that I did regret it, but, I was still unwilling to touch it. Only much later, after learning Italian and some basic French, I wanted to play with the idea of learning some German as well. So maybe if you have some aversion to French you might consider starting a whole new language, fresh from zero, and maybe after that, if you have success, you might go back to French with new and fresh perspective.
    But if you decided to study it now, go for it. Apart from apps, you might benefit from the lists of most frequent words, and maybe you could buy a French textbook that’s written in a language that you understand, so that you really understand what you’re learning, instead of learning it mechanically.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good to hear that I am not the only one who has made that experience! I actually thought about that too… I could learn Spanish or Italian first… Well, we’ll see but from a logical point French just seems to be the perfect choice since it is right around the corner from where I live…
      And thanks for all of your tips! I am already a huge fan of Duolingo, I have been learning a little bit of Esperanto for fun on there and it’s super cool!
      I’ll look up some good textbooks 🙂 thanks a lot! 😊


  2. Wishing you luck learning French. It’s always great to know more languages. Here in western Canada we don’t have much in the way of linguistic opportunities, as everyone speaks English and rarely do you hear anything else. I took French in high school and a few night classes, but when we went to Quebec for five years I still had a lot of learning to do. 😦

    Of course in the polyglot of Montreal we met children who knew three languages, teenagers who could speak four or five. One man told us his daughter spoke English, French, German, and was studying Japanese — a real challenge to a westerner. We who live in a one-language society lack the motivation to learn more, but then we travel and oh, how we wish we’d put forth more effort! Brains are quite capable; most of us don’t use ours near enough. 🙂

    Beware of translation programs: they can only supply one word for the one you put in. For one hilarious example, English companies in the past often didn’t bother hiring someone to do the work. They’d run their ad through a translation program. One company was advertising “gloves with a snug fit.” What the ad read in French was “gloves with a comfortable seizure.”


    1. Yeah that’s true! When you never leave Germany you don’t feel like it’s necessary to learn another language… 🙂 and I heard that English speakers are even more hesitant to learn other languages since the whole world basically speaks English 🙂
      Haha so true, never trust a translation software, even though they got better lately because of machine learning 🙂


  3. I spent some time learning French before our trip to Paris a couple of years ago and I found it a million times easier than when I was at school; maybe it was because I have spent so long learning Italian.
    I would recommend Duolingo to practice reading and writing, Coffee Break French for listening and learning essential phrases and then News in slow French and Spotify (search for French songs) to cover all your bases. I did this for about 8 weeks and learnt enough to get around in France and understand a lot of what people said. Only thing I was missing at the time was a language partner to practice before I went (head to italki for that). Hopefully some of those suggestions help you 😁👍🏻


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