The odd realizations from tutor sessions

I’ve now done a few iTalki sessions with a couple of great tutors. I was just thinking about some the experiences so far - things which surprised me. Perhaps someone else has experienced this too:

I would have thought there would be a fairly fixed ‘active’ core of the language which I am able to use when constructing my own sentences. It does not seem to be the case. Actually its more of a shifting core wherein I’ll use some word/grammatical principle confidently at some point, but become suddenly forgetful of it only minutes later.

I’m beginning to think of my brain as a rather confused librarian; forgetting where books are between requests, often suggesting books I have no need for, spontaneously bringing books I had asked for much earlier but no longer have a need for…

In English I don’t have this problem. I speak without even thinking about grammar, etc. - the words just flow like in my native language. That doesn’t imply that everything is perfect.

But in French & Chinese I made the same experiences that you described. I need more practice. Much, much more practice, and hopefully less forgetting…

Did you learn English as an adult or teenager?

If so, would you say that English words feel natural now to you? Or do they always seem a little bit strange and foreign?

Hopefully I’ll stick to my Korean and begin to experience the answer to this myself in a few years time.

I started learning English aged 10.
I started learning French aged 12.

My English became more and more fluent during my job (i was around 35) when I had a colleague who spoke no German and I had to talk with him all day long in English. What’s more I had to read many English texts in my job at that time. From that time English wasn’t anymore a “foreign” language to me. I lost the fear speaking wrong English from that time on.

My French in contrast is still not fluent. I understand mostly everything in French, but I am unable to speak without fear.