What did it take for you guys to speak well?

Anyone get a level of speaking you are proud of? If so, how did you do it?


When I talk French with natives, they’re underwhelmed.

When I talk Japanese with natives, I get accolades.

And yet, my French is quite a bit better than my Japanese.

What did it take? First and foremost, picking the right language and culture in order to receive these affirmations, and to have a “level of speaking I’m proud of.”

Seriously though, I think culture matters profoundly on this question, as does relationship with self.


Right I get this. I feel like I felt proud when I learned ASL for my deaf son. I would like to speak well in Portuguese as well. I kind of feel like I have all of this dormant vocabulary that I’m on the verge of using but I still get stuck.


For me, it took living in Germany for three months with a phrase book memorized, and forcing myself to speak German every day. That gave me confidence to speak.


Why did we always read that everywhere ? French are so mean like that ? I absolutely never see someone, in France, be underwhelmed by someone who try to speak french. Never. In 30 years.
Everytime I saw video on travelling to France, I never see a mean French person making fun of a bad expression. Maybe in Paris, but not in France. A contrario, we are always trying to help when someone struggle to speak french. Yes we correct the mistake, which can be seen as mean, but it is not.

Yet here, everyone complains. France is made up of a lot of accents, is it possible to believe that we are all mocking each other?


Vanadir, in Japan I get treated like a rock star for speaking Japanese.

While yes there is unfair stereotyping in this matter as you identify, a large cultural distinction remains.


I lived in South America for Spanish, in France for French, and in England for English. I had more projects but life changed my plans more than one time, so I guess for now I’m done with going in other countries for language learning.


How very cool. I would love to go to Germany! I am not sure I’m going to go to germany to learn german but the value i see in this is immersion. Thank you

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My current approach is to spend 20 % of my daily language learning time on speaking. I am already seeing marked improvements,that I feel proud of.My aim is to adhere more closely to the the Smart Learning Methods of Polyglot Luca Lampriello
I have been working to assimilate that method.
Understanding what is involved ,has become easier recently, due to some excellent new content provided by Luca.


I travelled round France many decades ago and found the people pleasant, and I’ve met French people in England and again they were pleasant. I lived in Montreal for two years, and many Quebeckers were awful. I was endlessly corrected by several people, usually because I used non formal French e.g. C’est pas la peine and Je le sais pas. It made me tense, destroyed my confidence and I gave up speaking French.

In my opinion correcting someone is usually counterproductive. They often know they made a mistake, and if not, it often confuses them. People don’t correct children, unless they are rude.

Oh and you do mock other accents, there are some very funny videos using the chti accent on YouTube, and then we have the mockery of bourbines by Swiss TV. All in good humour of course.


Les Québécois sont très attachés au bon français, l’anglais essayant de les supplanter.

Et oui, il y’a de l’humour sur les accents, mais c’est toujours affectif. Toujours. Ce n’est pas de la moquerie dans le sens “méchant”.

Dans tous les cas, j’espère que votre expérience s’améliorera et que vous retrouverez goût en notre vieille langue.

(Quebecers are very attached to proper French, with English trying to supplant it.
Yes, there’s humor about accents, but it’s always affectionate. Always. It’s not mockery in a “mean” sense.
In any case, I hope your experience improves and that you rediscover a taste for our old language.)