I'm unable to get comfortable speaking French

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Woods
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I'm unable to get comfortable speaking French

Postby Woods » 2019-11-20, 18:09

Been studying French for longer than English, I'm proficient (certified C2 + some very small gaps that can easily be fixed) - but I have never been able to make myself feel comfortable with it! I think it's the pronunciation - it's just weeeeird as f**k...But I've mastered it. I sound native - as stated by many Frenchmen. Nonetheless, I don't feel good speaking that. I want to be able to appreciate it to the fullest and make use of my hard work - do you have any advice how I should deal with it? It doesn't make any sense that I feel more comfortable speaking Danish or German, none of which I can even do a normal conversation in, than French, which I've been studying since I was 14...
Last edited by Woods on 2019-11-21, 20:08, edited 1 time in total.

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Yasna
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Re: I'm unable to get comfortable speaking French

Postby Yasna » 2019-11-20, 23:04

Have you tried adopting a language parent (a specific native speaker to model your speech after)? Otherwise perhaps it's a psychological issue. Do you have trouble identifying with French speakers and their culture?
Ein Buch muß die Axt sein für das gefrorene Meer in uns. - Kafka

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Woods
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Re: I'm unable to get comfortable speaking French

Postby Woods » 2019-11-21, 20:07

Hello, did you read that my pronunciation is native-like? No, indeed I feel very comfortable identifying with French speakers and their culture - it fits me very well. It's purely a language issue.

Ciarán12

Re: I'm unable to get comfortable speaking French

Postby Ciarán12 » 2019-11-21, 23:22

I can't say I know the feeling. It doesn't appear to be a language issue in that you've mastered the grammar, vocab, idioms and pronunciation from the sounds of it. I would have thought it's a cultural thing as well but you say it's not. When you say it "weird" and that you don't feel "comfortable", could you maybe explain in what way? I guess that's hard to explain, but I'd need something more specific to try to get a grasp on what you mean exactly.

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Woods
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Re: I'm unable to get comfortable speaking French

Postby Woods » 2019-11-25, 13:26

Ciarán12 wrote:I'd need something more specific to try to get a grasp on what you mean exactly.

Well, I feel like I have to twist my tongue in totally unnatural and unpleasant ways, make all the sound go in my nose and ears and I cannot even pronounce the R properly when I have a flu. I think it's pronounced in a very harsh and unmelodic way and I just don't get the same kind of joy I get from speaking - well, basically any other - language. On the contrary, I do enjoy having mastered something so strange that other people struggle with it indefinitely... but this is where the joy ends. I think a more proper definition would be that it's a pronunciation - not a language including all other aspects - issue.

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Antea
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Re: I'm unable to get comfortable speaking French

Postby Antea » 2019-11-25, 13:34

But that happens with a lot of languages. I also feel weird when I speak English, and once that I tried to study Chinese, I suppose my teacher was just horrified with my pronunciation of the tones :hmm:

Ciarán12

Re: I'm unable to get comfortable speaking French

Postby Ciarán12 » 2019-11-25, 15:12

It sounds to me like you just don't like the sound of French all that much. I'm not sure there's a solution. I've never found the pronunciation of any language that I've tried to learn particularly challenging, so I can empathize with being able to pronounce something without it sounding particularly pleasant to you. As far as feeling comfortable (i.e. it not requiring undue effort to produce the correct sounds), that usually just comes with practice. For example, when I started speaking Portuguese, I could produce the sounds correctly, but it did require conscious effort as I was not used to producing those sounds in that order, but with a lot of practice it's become second nature. I've said it elsewhere on UL before, but by my estimate I've spent in the region of 7000 hours at least speaking Portuguese at this point, so that might give you an idea of what I mean by "a lot of practice". If you've spent a similar volume of hours with French (or more) then maybe it's something else that's affecting it (like, possibly the fact you don't particularly like how it sounds may be inhibiting you or something...)

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Sarabi
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Re: I'm unable to get comfortable speaking French

Postby Sarabi » 2020-01-08, 3:07

Ciarán12 wrote:It sounds to me like you just don't like the sound of French all that much. I'm not sure there's a solution. I've never found the pronunciation of any language that I've tried to learn particularly challenging, so I can empathize with being able to pronounce something without it sounding particularly pleasant to you. As far as feeling comfortable (i.e. it not requiring undue effort to produce the correct sounds), that usually just comes with practice. For example, when I started speaking Portuguese, I could produce the sounds correctly, but it did require conscious effort as I was not used to producing those sounds in that order, but with a lot of practice it's become second nature. I've said it elsewhere on UL before, but by my estimate I've spent in the region of 7000 hours at least speaking Portuguese at this point, so that might give you an idea of what I mean by "a lot of practice". If you've spent a similar volume of hours with French (or more) then maybe it's something else that's affecting it (like, possibly the fact you don't particularly like how it sounds may be inhibiting you or something...)


Je suis d'accord. Il me semble que Woods n'aime pas le son du français. J'ai le même problème avec l'espagnole. Je n'ai jamais aimé la prononciation de cette langue. Malheureusement, on ne peut pas tout simplement changer ses préférences. Autrement je serais bisexuelle. :P
English 英语 (native); français 法语 (semi-fluent); español 西班牙语 (basic conversational, 3 years in school + completed Duolingo tree); română (un an + Duolingo Level 12); italiano 意大利语 (beginner; Duolingo tree completed); norsk 挪威语 (intermediate, Duolingo Level 22); kinesisk 中文 (beginner, Duolingo Lvl 17)

Official Dabbling History: 1.5 semesters in college nihongo; 2 semesters in college Kiswahili; 3 college linguistics classes

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Lutrinae
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Re: I'm unable to get comfortable speaking French

Postby Lutrinae » 2020-01-27, 8:52

It seems that you just don't like it, the sound of it.

Do you have to use it in your daily life? If it's something you hate that much it doesn't seem to have many solutions.

Use it when you need it, and pretend it's some kind of homework or task, and spend time speaking languages you like in other moments.
Thanks for any correction :)


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