Etikettarkiv: French verbs

A part of your brain

As you all know I try to learn French, a language not so easy to learn as you might think. So this summer I focused on another language, English, and mainly to understand “legal English”, reading a lot of contracts.

I am not going to write much about those classes but I learned something new… The part of your brain “learning” langues is not the same part “storing” your native language. Had no idea. So at the end learning languages is to train that part of your brain to store more information.

I any case, this Thursday is my last English class and soon time for the French again. Or more: Time for the French verbs again. So upon recommendation I invested in a new book, the Bescherelle book. So now I think I have around 15 French Verb books at home. Crazy… And also proof that my “foreign language” brain hard drive is kind of full cause still… I cannot wrap my brain around those verbs.

Have a Nice Day


Je dois “reset” mon cerveau

yes yes yes, might not be perfect French but hopefully people understand what I mean.

I have my test tomorrow and no high hopes for that to go well but during todays studies I actually understood I need to look at this from another angle. So I have some ideas, we will see if it work out at the end.

But I have to make the verbs my friend and not look at them as something that’s there to knock me down.


French Class (encore)

To you whom follow my blog you already know about my struggle to learn French and how “difficile” I find this task, not only difficile, fu***** très difficile.

To list the reasons again… And maybe even add some new obstacles to the list….

I’m Swedish, and even if I as such think my English is on the level of the Queen of England it’s not. In my head I know it and without a doubt I repress this for Swedes embarrassing fact. So learning French via English and not Swedish obvious obstructions.

For 50 years we Swedes been told how difficult the Swedish language is to learn. Bulls***! Trying to understand French verbs with a Swedish verbs brain is on the level of asking a excavator specialist to operate a space ship just cause they used to heavy machinery. Swedish verbs are child level in the world of verbs.

My brain is without a doubt not built to easy learn languages. It took 8 years in Swedish school before I was allowed out from special support classes in the SWEDISH language. The same in English but less years. I do not have a language ear, its a fact. Every word, every rule in the grammar, in my native language, is learned and still not coming natural too me. Not the same as dyslexia cause I read and understand without any problem but some grammar rules still create problems. And all words spelled with double letters is still a nightmare.

Take the above and add the French language way of bending verbs and add that everything is masculine or feminine, and for sure not the same in French. The gender thing, “La ou Le” is not something I get stressed about cause its easy to do it wrong and the only way to learn is to speak and let people correct you. But the Je, Tu, Il, Elle, On, Nous, Vous, Ils and Elles…. Mon Dieu!

The Liaison in French is kind of put there by the French to fu** up the life of expats cause what in my ears sound like 1 word is when written 5 or 6 once. I can hear someone French saying something and ask them to repeat but still not understand until I see it written. And the other way around. I often see myself to write French like it is phonetically. And one thing is sure, its not written like that at all in French. But it is one of the reasons why French is beautiful to listen too.

All languages include words meaning different things depending on context but even if not true it feels like French includes more of them. As said, not true, but since some words caused by liaison sound the same it not easy to get the context. My favorite is the words for yellow, game and young, I hear no difference at all between them and try to get the context if you hear someone say and repeat Jeux Olympiques and in your mind you wonder why the Olympics is yellow in France???

Also add just me being stupid things like the fact that I seems never to learn the difference between mardi and jeudi (mix them up all the time and for that reason overthink it and end up with wrong choice for sure) the same with 11 and 15. But thats only me being stupid cause in real Swedish “Hur svårt kan det va?”

So why all this today? Cause I have French Class today and my teacher will go mad cause I still don’t get it but I feel something actually said “click” since my last lesson or shall I say since yesterdays lunch hour study doing my homework. Still far from what my teacher want me to be or far from knowing my homework but suddenly some pieces of the puzzle actually fitted and a small light (not sunlight on a bright sunny day but a small flashlight light maybe…) flashed in the end of the French tunnel of verbs. Can it be that I finally unlocked something? To be continued…


French Lessons start again

After weeks of no classes I’m back to school and the French lessons. Feels like I never ever heard the language before but really? Now it’s time to take on this task more seriously. At least speak and understand, the spelling will come I guess with more reading in French.

But I still struggle with the same issues now as from the the start.

  • I don’t get the French verbs.
  • The “liaison” makes it hard to hear “word by word” so even if I get the words looking at them I do not hear it when people speak fast.
  • The French language have to many words sounding the same, or shall I say to me sounding the same. My favorite example is the French words for game, yellow and young. When people speak normally I do not hear the difference.
  • Too many exceptions or when the French correct you “You have to understand from context”.
  • I have huge difficulties to learn languages, it’s a well know fact and my English teachers throughout the years will confirm but also my former teachers in Swedish. I’m not language wizard.
  • The self study concept is not for me. Like a parrot I can repeat without knowing what I say and pass the on-line learning. Who in their right mind can learn on-line?

But we will see, I will struggle through the lessons left this term and if I pass for one more term (after the test) I will try to take the hours and ask for a intensive course, one week, everyday instead of the few hours a week. I gladly take a week vacation to do that and I am sure I will benefit more from that then single lessons.

Have a NIce week now.


Start again then

So, today I started the French studies again. Or studies… I started to re write my notes into a new note book, repeat, repeat and again repeat is the only thing working for me. And now I also need to focus on speaking cause people don’t understand even when I from start say the right thing. Really enjoying. And confusing. You think you know what to say, you say it, it is correct but no one understand you. And for sou who not speak French it is a language no one understand if you don’t say it perfectly. 

Just like when people learn Swedish and struggle with our “sh”-sounds in Swedish I obviously have a huge problem with the French Je, J´ai, ch.. sounds. 

My friends here and home kind of not understand the struggle I have with French but again, I have no language ear at all. And self studies is kind of hopeless, like a parrot I repeat but actually have no idea what I’m saying. And since I am worthless in gramma (both Swedish and English) the French language with its specific gramma is really hard to learn.

So I am still between start all over again and giving up and try to find a way to learn that actually stay in there. We will see what happens.


French again

I admit, I am not a linguist

So… Again I’m back to the problem I have with French verbs. And knowing me, some of you do, I am not good at stuff I don’t learn fast and my study technology is by doing, not reading and for sure not study on my own using on-line platforms. With that said, let’s turn back to the reason for this blog post.

I have nothing to “hang” up the French verbs on and what I learned yesterday, gone today. It’s unbelievable!!!

But looking at my language learning history. I had three really bad grades in school, math, Swedish grammar and English. You can say that from school start up until the family moved from Norrköping to Stockholm Swedish and English went fast downhill, from the top of the mountain to the ground rapidly.

English, kind of saved by the use of pen friends. Yes you youth born after 1975, back then we had penfriends. Both domestic and abroad. The Facebook and Instagram before Internet. Also thanks to the fact that nothing on TV in Sweden are dubbed (besides children shows).

Back to French verbs then and my brains way of complicate things. Let’s take an example, the verb être… To be or in Swedish vara.

My brain, in my Swedish mind set want to:

Je être, Tu être, Il/elle ètre, nous être, vous être and so on. In Swedish Jag är, Du är, han/hon är, vi är, ni är… only är, är, är. If this was French, I might have nailed it 100%. But even if the verb is être in french it goes je suis, tu es, il/elle est, nous sommes and vous êtes.

And that’s a easy one, verb by verb it change like this and I have no idea how to get this into my mind and make it stay. In class just rattling verb by verb it’s fine but in daily life my brain goes: “Oh, I need to say “I am Björn”, hmmmm, I am, is to be, vara in Swedish, so jag är, I am, verb être, it’s not Je être Björn it’s… yes I go for suis”.

All that activity takes time and in daily life not an option and since être is the easy one, please, just add all the other verbs.

I kind of give up every time… Je suis stupid, d’accord.

Then add the past and future and all the La and Le together with using the correct a, au, e, en, on, une… And my brain turn into a nuclear melt down.

And still I have not found the, for me, best way of learning this. Again, I have nothing to “hang” the French on to make it stick.

This blog post is a post about frustration