learning French

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canada french language-learning

Here I’m going to document my efforts to learn French. I speak Spanish pretty well, which together with English gives me a strong base for comprehension.

  • 2021-08-01: I started using Duolingo every day, and got into the XP challenges to the point where I was getting like hundreds of points most days. I’ve currently (2022-06-01) got 15821 XP and 103 lesson crowns in the French course, and most of that came from Fall 2021. That really gave me a good sense for basic grammar and function words.
  • 2021-08-18: I moved to Québec and started experiencing the French language multiple times a week.
  • 2021-09-01: The fall semester started at UdeM, so the number of emails (in French) from the university increased dramatically.
  • 2021-10-06: I was assigned a speaking partner by the programme de jumelage interlinguistique, and we started meeting weekly to practice speaking (her English and me French). This was the first time I was actually producing output, which was scary but fun.
  • 2022-01-15: I stopped using Duolingo as often because it feels repetitive and this semester I’m planning to write an app to study vocab more directly.
  • 2022-02-01: My French speaking partner finished her program and moved back to France, so we stopped meeting (although we do plan to continue calling once she’s done traveling).
  • 2022-04-27: I finished the alpha version of the WordBurner app and gave it to friends and family to test. I used it myself for about a week, and it felt like a very time-efficient way to increase vocabulary especially at the beginning. It’s rough around the edges in terms of the example sentences and the card recurrence was off, so I stopped using it after the semester project was over.
  • 2022-05-03: I started attending a weekly French conversation workshop at the local community center.
  • 2022-05-29: We listened to the first episode of the Duolingo French podcast, and really enjoyed it. We understood like probably 40% of what the French speaker was saying, thanks to the context provided by the English-speaking host. This seems like a great way to get interesting input at a level we can understand.