Learning French is Hard.

I’ve been learning Spanish ever since I was a 6th grader at Pocahontas Middle School. At the beginning of my 10th grade year at Steward, I decided to turn things around by learning a new language. I was considering Italian, Greek and French. Since my ancestry is 2% French, I made the decision of teaching myself French. Even though I know the basics like “Puis je avoir s’il vous plaît...” which means “Can I please have...”, and other conversational phrases, French is definitely way harder than I thought it would be. Here’s why.

In my opinion, the toughest part about learning a new language is always the “r” sound. In Spanish, you roll your tongue, in Portuguese you do the “h” sound, and in French, you try your hardest, which in my case, ends up with me choking on my own saliva. Pleasant right? I’ve been trying to master the art of r’s for over a week now, and it’s tough as nails. My friend Noreen, who is from the French-speaking part of Switzerland, has been trying to teach me, but it’s still very difficult. I downloaded Duolingo to help me practice French, and it’s actually getting a little better. Since I’m a beginner, I talk slow, which is normal and perfectly fine. However, on my French tutorials, they talk extremely fast. Even though it is expected that native speakers are much faster and fluent than beginners, it still makes it very hard to understand the listening portions. The last reason why French is a hard language to learn, is the part of their mouth in which they speak. In English, we tend to speak from the front part of our mouths when speaking. In French they form the sounds of words from the lower part of their mouths, almost from their throat. That’s one of the biggest transitions that French language students have to adjust to.

Even though French is very difficult to learn, it’s extremely useful. 300 million people around the globe speak the language, including countries like Canada, Haiti, Belgium, Cameroon, Madagascar, and many more. I hope to go to France to study abroad in college so that I can learn more about the language of love, and also experience life in France!