Moving abroad? Learn the lingo!
I was just wondering how many French people that decide to move to England would walk into a bank or an insurance company or some other such business and ask for somebody who spoke French? And what sort of reaction would they get if they did!
I'm not trying to pick on anybody, I was just reading through the forums and I found so many posts from people asking for an English speaking this or an English speaking that.
When I first moved here, I refused to speak to anybody until I felt I had learnt sufficient French to hold my own in a conversation, needless to say, my first few months here were pretty lonely.
I did have a massive advantage though, my other half is French speaking and he translated for me a lot. But I couldn't go on like that for long, it's so frustrating to not be understood or to not be able to voice your thoughts and opinions.
We moved here in Sep 09 and I took up French lessons the following January. After my first couple of lessons I actually drove home in tears after having not understood a thing and convincing myself that it was too hard and I would never learn! But I kept it up and I got better and I now have a job in a hotel in Aubusson and far more French friends than English. (In La Creuse anyway!)
I still occasionally mix up my verbs and get stuck with the conjugations, but the important thing is that people understand me and I understand them.
So, my point is that since coming here I have met so many people who claim that they "can't" learn French, there's always a reason, they're either too old or the language is too hard or they can't find lessons nearby and so on. But in my personal experience, if you really want to do something, you will do it and there is no such thing as "can't".