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French Language
by alldown • Tue 14 Mar 2006 19:48
Can anybody give me some hope that our french will improve when we can move to France permanently? We have not managed to come to la Creuse since October and will not get back until April so we have had a long stretch with no practice at day to day conversation. We have been learning French for about 18 months but still feel we are hopeless. It seems that every time a new phrase or word goes in our brains another one previously learnt pops out! Neither my husband nor I profess to be clever but we are not complete idiots. Will we ever manage to have anything like a conversation in French?
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alldown
253
Sep 2005
Re: French Language
by james419 • Wed 15 Mar 2006 02:25
Have no doubt than when you get here - it will improve - it also depends how much effort you make. We arrived 10 months ago with very basic linguistic skills - and a large amount of terror mixed in.
At first every time I opened my mouth to speak to someone I felt I was going to make a fool of myself. Now I am pretty relaxed can easily get by in a slow paced conversation and if I dont understand something - I say so and people take the trouble to try to explain. I also carry a pocket dictionary - this does cause many a giggle for all concerned. So have faith - carry a dictionary and give it a go - it does get easier and the French do appreciate it if you make the effort. They do not appreicate it if you dont make any effort, I would say they are more tolerant than the English are if the situation is reversed.
Good Luck
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james419
135
Sep 2005
Re: French Language
by arthur • Wed 15 Mar 2006 15:39
I have gone back to college to learn French, it is more difficult when you are older like myself (59), but i have pereservered, and on my last visit 2 weeks ago i manged quite well, and even surprised myself by carrying on a very basic conversation with the landlady of the "pub" in bourganeuf. You are quite right to say that the French will meet you half way if you make the effort. I have made a couple of friends in my none english speaking hamlet by trying to commuinicate in there native tongue, to the extent that they actively seek me out and say hello, which i think bodes well for the future.
Arthur ( Terry)
arthur
30
Sep 2005
Re: French Language
by Landa • Sat 22 Apr 2006 02:21
Hi everyone,I have been here a year now and only watch French tv.I have found it has helped me alot.I also go for a walk with my elderly French neighbour each afternoon and we have a good old chat.Sometimes I dont know how she understands me.The only problem I have is their country accent.
Landa
28
Feb 2005
Re: French Language
by jeanpierre • Fri 28 Apr 2006 16:59
If you want to meet French people, you'll learn French anyway.

Myself, (a Frenchman) :

1/ I'm president of a small software company (10 employees) in Guéret : we need to speak English -> we would appreciate to talk English and, in return, to speak French in exchange.

2/ I'm president of a charity close to Guéret, where we welcome physically disabled adults. We need helpers during holidays. It may be an good place to learn French, with French people.

My own experience is an example, I think -> I'm not alone !
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jeanpierre
31
Sep 2005
Re: French Language
by davidm • Sat 29 Apr 2006 05:17
Jeanpierre - I've experience of working with people with a disability, would be interested in the holidays you mentioned. Also up for French/English conversation trade!My e-mail is dmoynehan@wanadoo.fr Regards, David
davidm
4
Feb 2006
Re: French Language
by jeanpierre • Sat 29 Apr 2006 07:31
Hi David,

Thanks for your reply. I'll send you a personal email. It would be fine to meet.
If you want to know some more about our 'charity', we have a small web site, with an English entry. (The French pages of the web site are more up-to-date). You will be welcome to our activities, which are lasting from June 10th to July 28th.

Kind regards :

Jean Pierre
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jeanpierre
31
Sep 2005
Re: French Language
by alldown • Thu 04 May 2006 09:36
Thanks to everybody for ideas to improve our french We are still struggling but maybe getting a little better. On our return from La Creuse last week I had to telephone EDF in Guéret and our French bank in Paris. I played safe and telephoned the direct numbers of people that speak english. Imagine my horror to be told on both occcasions that the person I asked for was not available! But with my appalling french and a few words of english from the people on the other end of the telephone I have managed to arrange for EDF to connect the electricty next time we are in France (I hope that is what I have done) and arranged a time to telephone our relationship manager. We have looked at your website jeanpierre, and would love to get involved when we come to La Creuse permenantly but until then we can only grab a few days with a box of tools and a paintbrush trying to get our house habitable.

All the best Gill
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alldown
253
Sep 2005
Re: French Language
by moses • Thu 05 Oct 2006 00:48
hi my french is dismal and i have really struggled with it but i do seem to be improving, i have tried books etc to no avail and have now got a private tutor coming to the house once a week at £15.00/hr(he is teaching me coversational french no in depth stuff) this really does present good value in my experience as one on one tuition you are forced into working at the language with no hiding in a classroom.
And the thought of paying that much really does get you off your butt to work on the excercises given plus i hear french spoken at a speed and level that suits me so progress is made.
i dont think long term its the best solution but i found myself becoming very undiciplined when self teaching but now i know 6.30 every tuesday iv got to knuckle down.(i pay by the month so no excuses???)you really have to force youself into a set routine to learn and it does sink in slowly with repetition, i think the english dont realise how much effort is required for a frenchman to learn english well.
cordialment
anthony
moses
196
Aug 2006
Re: French Language
by The_Melting_Snowman • Thu 05 Oct 2006 17:34
For most people, speaking french is more important than writing it. Afterall, if you need to translate a document or write a letter, then you've got time to sit down and use a dictionary or get someone to help.

A very good way of learning spoken french is to watch french TV. I have installed at my UK home a satellite and can get a variety of french TV stations. I paid about £300 for the system and there is no monthly subscription. News and documentaries are best - or even 'soaps' as often day to day matters get covered such as leaking washing machines, car breakdowns, troublesome teenagers etc.

I have known people who have become fluent speakers of french by watching TV.
Re: French Language
by jeanpierre • Sun 08 Oct 2006 21:15
I live close to Guéret. I'm French, 55 years old, married, 4 daughters. I manage a software company (10 employees).
I think that the English expats can be a chance for our area, if they can integrate.
I would be happy to meet and welcome English-speaking people. If we share some points of interest, we could have talks, half-time in English and half-time in French, in order to improve our language skills. In addition, perhaps can we help as we know the French laws, habits and administrations.

Jean Pierre
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jeanpierre
31
Sep 2005
Re: French Language
by moses • Sun 08 Oct 2006 22:46
thats a good idea melting snowman i had not thought to install a satellite in the uk and also thanks for the offer jean pierre and yes i think in the long run it will be good for the area as long as not too many english over run it to a point of sending house prices too high.
moses
196
Aug 2006
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