I wondered if anyone had any insight on a problem i’ve been having lately. I’ve been studying French for a few years now. I got to a point where I could speak comfortably without much trouble on a wide variety of subjects. At that time I focused primarily on listening and reading but I would also speak occassionally to myself.
However, my school obligations forced me to stop my daily routine and it got to the point where my internal and external dialogue in French was gone. Since I picked it up again i’m able to understand the language fairly well - probably around 75-80% of news and radio broadcasts on average. The problem is that I am having seriously difficulty pronouncing the language and words that I previously had no problem with. And it has made it difficult to maintain a good verbal flow in constructing sentences. This has been very frustrating and something i’ve never dealt with before.
I don’t know if i’m just getting nervous speaking again or if it is just a matter of practice.
Have you tried to read out loud when you are alone, just to get the sense of the language again?
People who choose to delay conversation often face problems like these. Oscar’s suggestion is a good one, but I think the only way to truly “solve” the problem is to converse for hundreds of hours. After that, even if you have to put it on hold for a long period of time, it should come back to you pretty quickly. I suggest bi-weekly meetings with a Skype language partner.
I didn’t have a single Dutch conversation until I’d studied the language for 2 1/2 years. Not because I chose to do so but simply because I had nobody to talk with. In the last while, I’ve done just over 18 hours of it and everything is going quite well. I have no problem in the pronunciation of words and although I have a slight accent, my pronunciation is overall very good. My only troubles are trying to remember words, use words in the right context and idioms. Luckily I have an interesting person to talk with who just happens to be a teacher of the language.
By the way, just a little spelling tip: ‘pronounce’ but ‘pronunciation’