Difficulties in language learning

I have a French conversation partner whom of which I speak French to and she speaks English back -both correcting each other.

However recently, I have been struggling to speak I.e. I think in English what I say then translate to French (not always correct obviously) and when I speak, my accent is not good, despite listening to a lot of French with pronunciation trainers. I struggle to pronounce long words whilst processing the rules. Especially the ‘R’. I was curious as to how people got around this ? I know it takes a lot of effort and practice but it’s incredibly frustrating. Is this normal ?

I also know that translating from one language to another is not good but it happens. The only phrases I can say with automaticity is “je sais pas” and “comment dit-on en français”. How much speaking should I be practicing a week in order to make noticeable progress?

Thanks in advance :slight_smile:

All that’s quite normal. Get used to making mistakes and feeling awkward. It’s part of the game and It’ll pass. Also don’t fixate too much on accent, at least at that stage. You’re able to communicate: it’s a huge step forward. You’re not supposed to be perfect, or even feel confident, at the beginning.
Think about swimming: now, you can keep your head above water and avoid drowning. That’s quite good. The nice style will come over time.

I spend not too much time for speaking. But the noticeable progress depends more on listening and reading (the same content but separately in my case). I would say you need to listen 200+ hours actively to make the phrases come automatically into your head.

Great effort!

Ah ok that makes sense, thank you. Nice acronym

I once heard about recalling the language rather than reviewing it. That you should do more speaking and writing (also with reading and listening) to transform passive vocabulary to active. It’s just that I’ve read so many language techniques that I don’t have no set plan. I do love reading and listening the podcasts on LingQ and the concept is of no other. It’s just that I have no experience with being fluent in a second language hence I do not know how to go about this.

I have about two conversations a week, an hour each in japanese, and I face these same issues.

Translating in my head used to bother me, but I have since seen certain aspects of the language become a part of me, so I know a lot more will follow.

Japanese is my first second language, so I know what you mean when you’re not sure if you’re being “effective”.

But ultimately, Iyou should just enjoy it. At one point, you spoke and understood no French, and now you understand some. Keep doing what you’re doing and you will improve. The brain won’t let you get away with it! Haha

I’m a native English speaker learning French also. I don’t worry about the mistakes any more, I see them as opportunities to learn. If you think about it, you make mistakes in English every day, probably a lot of them. I know I do. So why worry about mistakes in French?

I will say it’s not a good practice to think English and convert it into French, the languages are just too different for that. Think French and speak French, you’ll find it will help your speed improve.

It’s a long process so why not have fun while you’re doing it?

Bonne chance!

Hint: Find the lessons for “the Linguist Manifesto”, in French of course. It will really help you get you in the right frame of mind.

i think you should practise english with a lot of people come from around the world. you can improve your pronunciatiion. i am ready practise english with you. my skype is tunguyenprnt.

How long have you been learning French for? Your word count on LingQ isn’t so high yet, but that doesn’t necessarily represent what you have done outside of the system.

My advice is just to keep going. It’s long and daunting at this stage but soon it will seem easy and fun. Just use the method that you prefer to use since there is very little you can do that will not help you with French. In the end, what will matter most is how much time you spend with it and not what specifically you do.

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I’ve been doing French for over a year, but for the past few months I’ve been using LingQ which has boosted my learning incredibly. Every now and then I would come across a word that I know and make sure it’s a known word on the system.

Oh and thank you for the advice :slight_smile:

By the way, nice A-levels (maths, further maths, computer science and physics). I did maths, further maths, physics, and chemistry.

Ah yes thank you, I decided not to take French for A level as I didn’t like how you went about learning the language i.e. forced almost to do things, I prefer listening and reading to content that’s interesting to me etc

My own experience is that the more I read, the better my speaking and being able to speak without translating from English. Far from 100% of the time, but it is definitely coming. It is helpful to speak about something that happened to you recently, or a hobby of yours, and prepare the vocabulary in advance, including phrases, not just isolated words.
I also suggest listening to tons of audio…obviously I’m a big believer in the input method.
Something else that is a fabulous aid: go to this site and download podcasts Émissions d'ICI Première | Radio-Canada . On an ipod you can play them at half speed. Maybe on other devices as well, the ipod is the only thing I have, no smartphone. My comprehension, and confidence, soar when I do that,
Bon courage !