Learning French.

Learning to speak French, even though it maybe on a very basic level,has been a life changing event.  It's very hard for me to put in words exactly how i feel. It's not just the language itself, as much as it is the numerous varieties of the language as well as the corresponding cultures. I went to Montreal Last Sept. and when I reached the border and spoke to the border patrol in french and they responded in kind was awesome. I also love the French that is spoken in West Africa as well as the Caribbean. It also coincides with my life's passion - History, with an emphasis on Black History.I was unaware the amount of Black History in french from Louisiana alone not considering Haiti, Martinique, Gudeloupe, Senegal, France, Congo, ETC. http://www.centenary.edu/french/anglais/afcreoleanglais.html .I was also intrigued by the similarities of the french creoles around the world especially in relation to the Louisiana version. My initial contact with french is my family, although no-one in my immediate family speaks french we are undoubtedly of French Creole Stock From La. I suspect even my last name was changed somewhere down the line to sound more american from Mercier to present Mercer. But i digress. I find myself watching TV5monde constantly even if I don't understand everything being said. Les Journal Des France 2 is one of my favorite programs and i can follow along on some of them. I also started the Learn French By Podcast that saw on this site. I have to say that's the best program that i've seen so far concerning learning french online. Repetition with that for me is key because so many things i hear and learn there are re-inforced on TV5monde. When I hear something on Tv that's been covered in the podcast it's a good feeling. My main problem is that i rarely have anyone with which to speak french, and when i do i get nervous and forget what to say. One thing is for sure my love of french will only grow as will my command of the language.So to all my Francophones out there i want to say be safe this new year and i hope the french language has enriched your life as it has mine.
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  • Hello Derrick,

    It will get easier all the time as you persist with your efforts.  One great tool and a lot of fun too is renting French movies which have English subtitles.

    As you inferred in your message, the best reward is not just a new language with its vocabulary and grammar but most of all a new perspective on the world and life.

    Bonne Chance!

  • Hi Derrick: I agree with you absolutely;French is my passion too. I took a great step forward when I started attending the French Huegenot church St. Esprit on East 60th Street, between Park and Lexington. www.stespritnyc.net/ There are free French classes every Sunday morning at 10 am. Attending the church service is by no means mandatory, but you are certainly invited to do so at 11:15 am. It is a wonderful francophone family with members from all over the world (including the Caribbean and West Africa), although the parish is quite small. I would like to pass along a bit of advice that heped me so much to overcome my shyness. This was told to me by a friend who teaches English as a Second Language. She told me not to be concerned about making mistakes, just COMMUNICATE. I still make tons of mistakes, but I am no longer as tongue-tied as I once was. Come join us some Sunday morning. Classes resume on Jan. 16 after the Christmas break. I'll look for you.
  • For opportunities to study French in New York City, and for Francophones to study English, please visit our school's web-site: www.actfrench.com
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