I was going to participate in the LingQ contest but gave up as I don’t think I would win. No point participating in a competition that I would never win anyway… good luck everyone else.
Regardless, here is a video of me speaking in crappy French. It’s random trash talk without scripting and I’m sorry if you can’t understand me and disgusted with my efforts. Actually I’m writing this post in English which I didn’t want to do, but now I’m considering whether I should give up French and focus on Mandarin instead. I put a shit load of effort (really blood, sweat and tears) and time in this language and seem not to speak as good as my Cantonese within the same learning period.
What I’m after:
- Truthful feedback of my speaking abilities
- Reasons why I sound non-Francophone
- Will French people and Québécois simply laugh at me with disgust of my feeble attempt to bastardise their language
- Ignoring my face (I hate being eurasian), which country would you think I come based ONLY on my French accent, intonation and word usage
Seriously, French is damn hard… 1000% harder than Chinese!
Now you have made the video, you might as well enter the contest. There is nothing to lose.
For the video contest, you’re welcome to submit this video, but there’s no inherent benefit to speaking in your target language. If I were to enter (I won’t – conflict of interest :P) I would probably speak primarily in English explaining how I used to learn and how I now learn at LingQ and what’s different about the process. Not that I have any problems explaining that in Korean, but I would certainly do a better job in English and get my message across more clearly.
That being said, I think you downplay your French far too much. Even when my Korean was basic, I still had a positive attitude about it. I knew that with time I would improve, as long as I stuck with it. Over 3 years later and here I am, having experienced a lot of difficult times along the way, but I’m happy where I am and excited to keep improving at the same time.
As I asked on another blog, isn’t the goal of language learning to communicate? I’m always curious why people put so much emphasis on achieving native-like pronunciation. The more emphasis we put on “perfect” pronunciation, the more frustrated we become, and we’re often actually doing ourselves a disservice. I know that what holds me back in a language is mostly words, and while I’ve often been told that my pronunciation is good, I would much rather have more words than better pronunciation.
Setting goals for yourself is good, but if you constantly find yourself discouraged because you continually fail to achieve those goals then maybe you need different goals. Language learning isn’t easy, but you need to focus on things that motivate you, otherwise you’ll just constantly feel like you’re fighting an uphill battle and will not at all enjoy the process.
Keep plugging away at it and you’re bound to keep improving.
Milan - why are you being so hard on yourself ?
This is an excellent effort, especially unscripted. I certainly had no problems understanding you.
I agree! I like the video: you are an attractive young man who speaks amazingly well for someone who says he’s only studied the language for a year. I’ve tried to learn French for ages and am nowhere near your level of free speech. As to the accent, I can’t judge but towards the end I felt at times as if I were listening to Winston Churchill (whose French was good), he also spoke in measured tones. What I don’t like is the way you put yourself down, especially in your writing. It is unnecessary and also quite awkward, I feel. Just accept that you are cool and capable!
Je suis d’accord avec tout ce que Misstake et SanneT a ecrit. De plus, ce n’est pas en parlant qu’ont peut se juger si on n’habite pas un milieu francais.
That’s an excellent video, and your French is awesome - especially taking into account that you have learned it for just one year. Unbelievable!
I have studied French for 6 years in school, now I am 60, and my understanding of written and spoken French is quite OK, but when it comes to speaking in French, my results are horrible. I just had yesterday a conversation with my tutor, and he wrote in his report: “La conjugaison des verbes au future vous posent de gros problèmes!” And that’s not my only problem. There is no fluency at all because I have to think too much about gender of nouns, about verb forms, finding the right word, etc.
In summary, I just want to say: Be happy about your French!
I think Milan is looking for “truthful feedback” rather than only praises.
I am not a native French speaker, so I can’t comment much on his speaking. To me, he sounds ‘older’ than his age.
To me, you sound really French in terms of pronunciation. When it comes to other things like a grammar, natural usages etc. I can’t say anything because I can’t speak French.
I was being 100% truthful.
I thought the grammar was very good. Some of the phrases you use were very impressive after just one year:
“Je vais vous donner une vue d’ensemble de ma vie”
“Merci de m’avoir écouté”
Also, did I not hear a subjunctive at 1:37 ?
“J’aimerais aller en France afin que je puisse communiquer…”
I particularly liked the “l-i-n-g-q POINT COM !” at 2:18… sounded very French (to my ears) !
I thought the nasal intonation was excellent, as was the pronunciation of the short “u” and “r”. But not being French I can’t really comment too much. But it just sounded very, very good.
Oh, Steve, look at your number of posts. Can we trust you?
Always trust me Sanne, Now it so happens that if you send me $10,000 dollars now I will be able to send you several million in a few months.
Surely you jest! Your French is AWESOME! Look, if I spoke anywhere half as beautiful as you speak I would think myself rather accomplished. “C’est excellent!” to quote MissTake. I really enjoyed your video and I dig the way you speak French. Your accent is on point to my ears, and I agree with everyone’s comments. What an inspiration you are! And you are so handsome!
You said you wanted truthful feedback, yes? Well, listen, I think you should absolutely continue with French, submit your video, and kill the negative attitude.
SanneT–oh, you are so funny! ;-)) Thanks, I needed to laugh. I think we can trust Steve on this one…hahahaha…!
J’ai laissé mon commentaire sur votre Chaîne de Youtube… je suis au bureau, ne l’ai pas encore écouté… Oui, dès que je rentrerai chez moi, je l’écourterai… En tout cas, bravo pour première vidéo!
Of course with everything I can talk better on certain topics than others as of course I’ve listened to specific topics more or less the same all year round. Marianne can vouch that I have big problems on other French topics and new areas that I venture into. My goal was to get as fluent as possible with a buffer for grammar and vocab use errors.
Nevertheless, I appreciate that you all took the time. My friend has a friend who said that my accent is “very poor” but understandable at “some parts”. I’m not sure if French people use “very poor” in the sense that Hong Kong people use “very heavy” to describe the slightest accent difference.
I’m not going to participate in the competition as I don’t think it helps me improve and I only want to do activities that add value for myself. I’m always promoting LingQ without giving a referer ID as I think the system deserves success on it’s on merits.
Let’s face it, I am not talented in languages like some of you including Lok2504, Moses and Richard from England, but I think I could communicate with French people, but probably French people would force English upon me (but don’t really know unless I actually go)
If you have further technical feedback of my rambling on, please feel free… I’m eager to sound native because I’m told that French people are very pedantic about bastardisation of French and I also don’t want to be classified as a typical anglophone as it’s simply unattractive to be monolingual and speaking French with an obvious English accent.
Je viens d’écouter votre vidéo. J’aime bien votre façon de parler, accent, prononciation, etc tout ça, c’est très naturel. Merci d’avoir partagé cette vidéo.
Judging by their reaction to Quebecois, I think the French are quite pedantic about the French language. I am sorry, but I have seen it time and again in my work and in my personal life. ( I have French in-laws)