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What's the best way to start speaking French?


I speak Portuguese, English and Spanish... I'm learning German and I'm going pretty well at it, but there's a language that I've been trying to learn for a long time... I failed epically. FRENCH.

I had 3 years of French in school. I was a disaster.
I have family in Paris, I spent a month there, nothing.
I have a French girlfriend, she can't do nothing about me.
I've tried Duolingo, didn't really work.
I watch movies and listen to French music. I'm a failure.

Am I doom to fail in French, should I just move on to another language? Or is there a solution? Am I too lost to be saved?

For learning: French
Base language: English
Category: Other



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    Best Answer - Chosen by the Asker
    You are not doomed.
    I do think it will help to pinpoint more precisely what seems to be the problem. Have the methods your various teachers used not working for you? Have you not really liked your teachers? Do you know exactly how you learn (visual, auditory or tactile learner) and are you being taught one way but you learn by using another? How about the materials you used? Consider what may have been holding you back and then try to work with that information.
    Then I would say, clear your mind of your negative talk, start fresh with a positive attitude and try not to be too hard on yourself (don't criticize yourself). And don't pressure yourself, don't try to move too fast. It's not a race.

    Another thing I would like to add is that a lot of people try to start by using strictly a communicative method. That doesn't work for everyone. For me, for example, I am a visual learner. I need to see the writing, I need to write down and study the grammar and structure before I can use it orally. If that is you too, then start by the basics. Start with the introductions, simple verbs, learn phrases that are useful and build on that. Establishing a good foundation is crucial for building fluency.
    And above all, Have Fun. If you don't enjoy it, it will be extremely hard to learn.
    Good luck, bonne chance!!


    I understand your frustration. A lot of people have this ignorant stereotype that just because we already speak a romance language, that should miraculously help us speak any other Latin-based language which is totally wrong and invalid in my opinion. French is an alien language to me as well, I develop my skills in German, like you, way better than in French.

    But after some time, I started to be more confident and now I take the risk to speak in French.

    What have I done? Grammar and vocabulary. I don't believe in this system of shooting a speech without previous knowledge. So I would highly suggest you to start with grammar, understand the verb conjugation and the usage of preposition that confuses a lot because we tend to think it's going to be like in Portuguese but in the end, it's totally the opposite.

    Once you have a basic knowledge of the grammar, work on improving vocabulary and always reading out loud things, preferably if you have those lessons or dialogues with the audio. Do it constantly and once you start getting the hang of it, start speaking so you can improve more.

    Wish you luck!

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