Getting Obsessed with France because I’m Cool

Technically speaking, I’ve been learning French for 10 years – since I was 6 – but I can’t speak it without stuttering, my sentence structure is horrendous and I can’t formulate words properly. So, I’m NOT ELOQUENT and I sound like a Martian when I try and speak it, and must look like a moron when I write. Trying to do “de la” when it’s du, or screwing up the gender agreements and verbs. WAHEYY!

Because of that, I’m insane for picking it at A-level. I did it for GCSE and had a love-hate relationship with it, but I decided to change my options about two weeks ago because I got it into my head that it would be better for me.

Well, it WILL be. French has always come naturally to me, and I just love the language because it’s beautiful and it flows REALLY well. I know you might be rolling your eyes at my nerd fest at a foreign language but selon moi, c’est vraiment fantastique bien que je ne le parle pas!

Over the past two weeks, I’ve decided it’s a great idea for me to NOT ACTUALLY give myself a free summer (mainly because they do give us holiday homework at school). Me? Nahh, I’m doing the homework, but I’m doing stuff for my own enjoyment. What’s that, you might ask? VOLUNTARILY doing more French than is necessary.

Okay, so it IS useful. I want to be able to be reasonably confident when I go into A-Levels; I’ll be doing it for the other subjects too but French (and also English) is my priority because I enjoy it. I literally will GO OUT OF MY WAY to do extra french; I know other people will be doing the same because it’s what you SHOULD do, so at least I’m not alone.

I’ve downloaded the app for the newspaper, Le Monde, and started to read articles in French even though I don’t understand most of it. That’s how I found out David Cameron was resigning, actually, and it was WEIRD to find it out from a French newspaper (whilst trying to piece together what it was saying).

And the worst and best thing? I’ve got obsessed with French songs. MAINSTREAM french songs, that are popular, but shhh I’m not original. I just can’t stop listening to them they’re SO GOOD!

Some of my favourites which you should totally listen to:
Dernière Danse by Indila
On Γ‰crit Sur Les Murs by Kids United
Formidable by Stromae

And there are loads more. Honestly I don’t know why, but I LOVE French songs. It’s partly because I can understand them, but it’s also because I like the language itself.

Speaking and listening are still a huge problem for me when it comes to French. I can understand it when I’m reading it, and I can kind of write, but I’m absolutely TERRIBLE with speaking because I can’t get the words out and I can barely construct sentences. The A-Level course recommends doing LOADS of things outside school, so I’ll do that.

Maybe I can listen to french news broadcasts, or find someone – like Willow or Hazel – to speak to in French (Hazel is fluent). Who knows? Even though I won’t do French at university, I still love learning a modern language. People in other countries seem to know two or more, and I want to be able to say coeur and heart, and for it to MEAN the same thing in my head.

I’m thinking reading a book in French as well – I got this thing for my Induction Day next Tuesday for Sixth Form (no one else has the material I’m such a rebel) and it suggests setting up a Twitter account in French. Y’know what? I might actually do that.

I’m so sorry for boring you with all that! Are there any languages you love learning (or that you hate)?

From Elm πŸ™‚

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150 thoughts on “Getting Obsessed with France because I’m Cool

  1. I love learning Spanish, there are so many countries which speak Spanish and when I go to them I want to be able to embrace the Spanish-ness and also it’d be cool to pretend you don’t understand and pretend your an average tourist and then suddenly speak a whole paragraph of Spanish or something to surprised locals xD

    • AHAHAHA that’d be so cool πŸ˜€ That’s what I wanna do with French. I remember learning Spanish and I enjoyed it, but not as much as French. I think all languages fascinate me πŸ™‚ But also, Spanish is lovely to listen to

  2. I love Spanish. I can read it and write what I know of it but I am terrible at listening and speaking it.
    I am not fluent but I love learning it and all the words and how to say things and stuff. Even when I don’t know what the words mean, I sometimes open a Spanish boom and start reading it out loud.

    French is a beautiful language! Good luck on it!

    • Thanks and same with you for Spanish! Yeah, I know what you mean – finding out new vocabulary is so great, especially because you now know a new word! πŸ˜€

  3. I saw a thumbnail of Indila’s face and I clicked so quickly. I fully agree with you in terms of music because understanding it makes me feel more powerful. I love French music because it sounds nice in music. I’m doing French and German at A level but music spoken in German sounds really weird so I stick to reading news articles.

  4. Hey I’m french, I just wanted to say that there is not a lot of good music in France only 2 or 3 artist are good, others not so much. Also it’s a great idea that you are learning it outside of school! Oh and a tip would be to by a french book and translate the parts which you don’t understand it will be great for sentence structuring.. Yeah you may have guessed I love languages.

      • Haha Well the book is totally your choice you should read a book that you have already read in your own language. Mika used to sing in English but now he sings in french and some of his songs are great! Louane is quite good too. πŸ™‚

  5. Oh my gosh I actually know DerniΓ¨re Danse by Indila! Haha, you’ve got good taste. πŸ˜‰ I started to learn like… French 1. But got distracted by ASL. But I plan to return to French at some point.

  6. Good on you for doing the extra work, and choosing A-level French! I really enjoyed it at GCSE and I got an A in it, but I also think that was thanks to my amazing teacher who went on maternity leave at the end of Year 11… The jump from GCSE to A-level is generally quite big, but I found that the French jump was the biggest. I’m sure you’re going to do really well, and what you’re planning to do sounds like a great idea, and I should have done more work outside of school! Good luck!! πŸ™‚

    • Thank youuu so much! πŸ™‚ Ahh I’m scared about the jump but it’ll hopefully be okay? EEK! Yeah, I’m forcing myself to do work outside school to be PREPARED

      • What I struggled with the most was grammar, and I think that has always been my downfall but I noticed it more at A-level, so especially in year 13 I really had to practice! Knowing your verbs etc really helps, as simple as that sounds! Reading/watching/listening to French is a really good idea too 😊 but try not to forget about your other subjects πŸ˜‰

      • Hehe, I’ll try not to! πŸ˜€ I hope not to get TOO carried away with French, cause I’ve got THREE other essay subjects!

      • Ah I understand that! I did English lit and media as well, and media is kind of 50/50 with essays and coursework stuff. Eventually you’ll get into the hang of it, I would suggest getting used to writing the essays as early as you can 😊

  7. I’ve always loved learning French, but quickly became bored with German. I’m also doing French for A-level and if I have time, I’d like to start reading a French book over the holidays. Even if I don’t study it past A-level, I’d love to be fluent in it one day.

  8. My school’s destroyed all passion that I had for French 😦 I’ll probably learn it later on in life for fun

      • Thanks πŸ™‚ Je l’apprΓ©cie. Anyway, the modern language teachers at my school aren’t good at all except from two so there’s no way I’d do it at school past GCSE. I’d have to teach myself too much and I wouldn’t enjoy it

      • When you have to teach yourself, sometimes it sucks the enjoyment out of things. Or when you’re taught it generally. I found that with Spanish and also piano πŸ˜€

  9. I’m learning French too (I also started learning when I was roughly that age I went to French school on a weekend) and geez I can’t form hardly a single sentance but I’m with you I do enjoy it but I don’t think I could ever take it A -level.

  10. i’m taking french too, and i love it and everything about the culture but oh my goodness the language… just, why? it might be weirder than english i swear. there’s so many obscure rules and you never pronounce every syllable and just whyyyy??? on the other hand, french food is the bomb, like baguettes for breakfast? sign me up! also, crepes. nothing beats crepes. so yeah, i feel your struggles. if you want a little bit of french immersion practice / want a new show to get obsessed with or something cute to ship, this show called miraculous ladybug is a french children’s cartoon that tumblr pretty much hijacked and made into a fandom and it’s honestly just the best. you can find all the episodes in english here in order and everything: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8QCLi7smnlZdxwbnrRs5VwDi3vCdu0QJ
    my friend and i watched most of them in french with english subs so we could practice some french while watching, but i can’t find the channel we watched them on anymore. there’s also some copyright problems or something like that so one day you’ll have all the episodes up all nice and lined up and the next day they’re gone without a trace because the show’s owners had them taken down, but they’re pretty easy to find otherwise. it sounds ridiculous and stupid, but it’s honestly the cutest show and you’ll love it. they’ve announced two more seasons after this one, and there’ll be 26 episodes in each so plenty to watch πŸ™‚ this was a super long comment, but enjoy!
    xxx abi

    • OOMGGGG this is AMAZINGGG thank you!!! Yeah, French pronunciation and grammar KILLS! De la, Γ‘, du, des, AAAAHHH!
      But French food is SO SO amazing I LOVE IIIIT!!! πŸ™‚
      YES that show. I must watch it. I’ll probably get obsessed with it but shhhh I’m cool. Thanks for the recommendation!

  11. my sister fully speaks French, and she said the secret to pronouncing it correctly is by spitting
    no she actually said that, really, she was serious.
    good luck on learning it!

  12. Omg this post is literally me though – I mean, I could have written exactly the same things myself! I’m taking a-level French in September too. Everyone says I’m mad for doing that but I don’t know I just…get it? I think my brain is wired for learning languages and I love that. I am in no way fluent in French – I’m definitely better at reading French than anything else. Listening isn’t too bad but I can barely write (because I can’t spell/cope with all the accents and stuff) or speak (because I have an inability to pronounce French words and sound convincing) it. I really want to keep learning it though (hence why I’m doing a-level) because it IS fun. I did the GCSE French exam like more than a month ago now and I still find myself thinking of French words/how to say stuff in French before I speak it or naming random household objects in French. I’m even still carrying on with the French Duolingo course which is what I used to revise for GCSEs and found it really useful – I highly recommend it if you want to keep French fresh in your head over the summer break. I also want to start reading French books but libraries over here seem to have a lack of them – although I did manage to find a French copy of Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone which I’m going to pick up in the next few weeks. I think as far as books go, it’s best to start off with French editions of books you’ve already read/are familiar with as at first it will be tiring to read fully in French and it will be easier if you already are familiar with the plot and everything. Best of luck with it all! If you ever want someone to practice French with, I’m here! (Although my grammar is bad but I guess the more I practice, the better I’ll get) πŸ™‚

    • YES, another french student! I might take you up on that offer to practice, because I’ll need it! I’ve heard Duolingo is REALLY good, so I think I’ll try it out, hmm, YES, french Harry POTTER!!! I need to do that.
      Nous parlerions FranΓ§ais ensemble! Or whatever I can’t do this

      • Yay! Feel free to DM me any time if you feel like it – I’m always up for a bit of French (warning you now that my spelling is bad πŸ˜‚). Yeah Duolingo is a must! Oui nous pouvens/pouverions?? Idk πŸ˜‚

  13. I get that. Like, I try so hard with learning german, because a) I have to pass HS and b) it’s super useful for buisness. But I just can’t. It’s so hard. And language does NOT come naturally for me at all! But good luck with your french BTW πŸ™‚ Sounds like your alot better at this than I am! πŸ™‚

    • Hehe, I can understand that – I was the same with Spanish, where it just didn’t fit with me. You know?
      Good luck for HS – what’s that? sorry I’m being stupid haha! πŸ˜€

      • Hm, maybe another language would be better for me than? I’ve always wanted to learn italian as well. HS – high school. You’re not being stupid, I’m using outdated acronyms haha.

      • WOAH it’s so obvious now I feel like an idiot! πŸ˜€ Try Italian. Some languages might “fit” better than others.

  14. hi! Nice post! French is complicated, one of my best friends is from Normandy, so if you need any questions answered, you know where to find the answer!:)

    Sami<3

  15. I’m actually an international relations and translation student so learning languages is what I do! I’m fluent in English and Spanish and have done 5 years of French, 3 years of German and just the first year of Mandarin Chinese. And all the languages that I learn make me curious about their cultures, customs and traditions, so I investigate a bit and fall in love with them even more!

  16. I like learning different languages too. It is a dream that one day I’ll be able to be fluent in 3. I’m working on it. More than 3 would be great, but that’s just being greedy.

  17. I’m SUPER obsessed with France that I have an Eiffel Tower keychain AND pendant! πŸ˜›
    I know a bit of French, but i’m really fascinated by Arabic. I’m sort of fluent in Japanese – thanks to all the anime i watch, and J-pop songs i listen to! I really want to learn as many languages as I can. :3

  18. Hi…first of all i would like to know what is GCSE.
    Secondly I learnt french as third language after Hindi and English for 5 yrs. And I was completely in love with it. Yes the rules were a little complicated specially verbs but i enjoyed reading french texts loud n clear!

    • Yes, french is really fantastic!
      GCSEs are exams that people in England who are 15-16 take – at the end of year 11, after two years of studying. The average amount of subjects we study is about 10, and we get exams in all of them. They then determine what we can take for A-level – for the next two years after, where we usually take 4 subjects.

      • Okay..I get it now. Like in India we have schooling for 12 years. At the end of 10th standard we have to give an exam whose scores decide what all subjects we are eligible to take up for next two years. In 10th we have 6 subjects i.e. English,French/Hindi/Sanskrit/German, Social Studies, Science,Mathematics and Information Technology. For next two years we study 5 subjects bit those depend on the career we wud like ro pursue. At the end of 12th we have a major exam which we call BOARDS after which we enter University.

  19. I attempted to learn french a few times, although all of those times I gave up and/or got busy haha. Although I have a friend who is french and we write letters to eachother (obviously most of the time I have to use google translate XD )It’d be so cool to know how to speak a second language properly haha

    • OMG it so would! You LUCKY thing – I should start writing letters in French, but they wouldn’t be sent to anybody πŸ˜› I just love languages ahhhh!

      • I know right!! Same!!
        I’d been wanting to write letters in another language for AGES, but I couldn’t find any haha after a little bit I went on this site I think is called something like Students Of The World or something and they have this thing where you make and ‘ad’ saying what languages you speak and who you want to talk to, so anyone interested in talking to you will email you and stuff, if that makes sense, and then if you trust them and want to write letters you give them your address then boom you have an awesome person to write to XD I’ve been writing letters to a girl for the past year, her name is Lise and she’s so cool:)
        Geez this is a huge comment… πŸ˜› Hehehe sorryyyyy but I hope you’ll find someone if you want to XD

      • I NEED to look at that; that’s such a good idea! EEEE!!!! LETTERSS!!!! Thanks for the website recommendation

  20. I didn’t mind learning German, although all the grammar rules had my mind in a muddle. Listening to song covers in german esp raps were so fascinating. I equally have a love hate relationship with writing in my mothertongue (247 letters in the alphabet) but the characters look so beautiful.

  21. I used to take french for a year two years ago! It’s a beautiful language and our teacher made us memorize this french song. Sadly, since I moved schools I stopped learning french, So I know very little. But who knows? I might learn it again sometime. Oh and good luck! πŸ™‚

    • Go for it! I really love the language, and songs too πŸ™‚ It’s sad you no longer do French, but it’s not the end of potential french learning.

  22. Being somewhat fluent in French is something on my bucket list. I’ve been taking classes on the French language for about 4 years now but I still can’t properly speak it, unfortunately. Oh well! Someday we’re going to be fabulous French speakers πŸ˜‚

  23. ELM I COMPLETELY LOVE THIS POST!!!!! Somebody in this world feels me, omg. I’ve also been learning French since I was 5 or 6 but can barley put sentences together too. (I’m just good at vocab, like knowing individual words). I completely love languages and am also going to do it for A-level too. I’ve had a love hate relationship with it just like you and the advice you’ve given here about twitter accounts and books is actually really useful. We’re going to do the AQA French course for A-Level and part of that is reading a book. I get French magazines but reading newspapers sounds like a great idea. I’m definitely going to check out these songs, I love listening to songs being sung in French. Elm, this may be my favourite post ever, you completely have summed up pretty much my life, languages are just so good. xx

  24. I too love French, and am similarly crap at speaking & listening – like literally, you couldn’t be worse than me if you tried! Also, i’m kinda genuinely obsessed with the idea of Twittering in French… Saying ‘L’ in a French accent actually sounds sort of sexy… Not sure about that one! ;-]

  25. DerniΓ¨re Danse was the song that got me through GCSE French exam day!!! It calmed me down so much haha. I loved doing the GCSE and wanted to do it next year, but there were 4 subjects I had to narrow down to 3 and sadly French was the one I ditched! I am learning Spanish this summer though πŸ™‚ Good luck studying French next year x

  26. Hey Elm! Sorry I haven’t been on in a whileeee….

    I have been learning french for three and a half years. Even after that I SUCK; I could never make it in france, even though it would be absolutely stunningggggg.

    I like your plan of learning, haha. I think I might do that too… just to see where it goess….

    I am thinking about dropping french, because it isn’t a subject I want to do in year 12, so it is a waste of time now…. Idk… What do you think? Should I?

    • If you don’t want to do it and aren’t interested, I’d say yes. Only do a subject if you’re passionate about it and you WANT to do it. As much as French is fabulous, if YOU don’t like it, don’t do it. You can always pick it up later as a sort of hobby, anyway! πŸ™‚

  27. I’m doing French AND Spanish for a level and everyone thinks I’m mad and I don’t know if I’m going to regret it but eh. I really like languages too and I actually want to learn Greek. IM SO GLAD I FOUND SOMEONE ELSE WHO TAKES LANGUAGES BECAUSE EVERYONE THINKS IM CRAZY

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