Progress Report – 4 Months of French

Technically, it has been 4 months now since I have started learning French. But I have not studied French much in the last 2 months. Hence, I have not moved much beyond my last progress report at the end of 2 months.  My vacation took the toll on my French learning.

In fact, it has been about 6 weeks since I have touched my Assimil French book. Though the actual vacation itself was around 2 weeks, preparing for the vacation and settling back from the travel took more than 1 month. When I came back, I have lost all my interest in French. In a way, it is very ironic – when I was in my vacation in Saudi Arabia, each time I opened my mouth to talk something in Arabic, French sentences were about fall off from my mouth. I had to stop myself and realize that I don’t need to talk French here but Arabic. I was very surprised that every time I thought of a situation to talk, French words and sentences were popping into my head on their own. I thought that this was a clue that I am hooked to French, but Alas, on my return, I realized that I have lost all my appetite for French.

In a way, it is not surprising – when you lose touch with any routine or goal, it is always more difficult to get back on track. This is probably the reason that Assimil recommends the students to be in touch with the language every single day.

I tried to listen to Assimil, which had me swooned for 2 months – no interest. I listened to Michel Thomas hoping that the active engagement in building sentences will bring back my interest – it was of no avail. I listened to the slow French news which I was enjoying a lot just before my vacation – but no interest.

This is when I realized some external commitment will help. So, I have asked my wife to help me get back to studying French. My wife is very good at routines – so, I can’t really escape from learning French once I have agreed to have joint sessions with her :). For the past 1 week, we are listening to Michel Thomas for 10-15 minutes every day and trying to build the sentences. Though I have completed 8 hours, we have started from the first hour again; everything seems easy enough. So, I have not forgotten much of what I have learnt.

I have also gone back to listening from the first lesson of Assimil (Back to Square one :)). I was doing lesson 111 when I stopped – there were only 2 lessons to finish the book. Now, it is the whole book again. Anyway, this is something inevitable in any journey. I am not too discouraged.

I have gone through the same phenomenon many times in the past with respect to my jogging. When I am jogging regularly, I love jogging and I look forward to jogging early morning in icy cold weather here. But when I have taken a break, jogging looks like a chore and I wonder how I ever loved jogging. This is the same case now. I have just restarted jogging after 5 weeks of break and jogging does not seem very appealing – but I know that if I persist, I will soon start enjoying jogging and will start wondering how I can live without it. I hope that it would be the same with learning French. See you soon with my report of how I have fallen in love with French, all over again 🙂

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One thought on “Progress Report – 4 Months of French

  1. Khasmir June 2, 2012 at 7:06 pm Reply

    I’ve found that learning a couple of languages at a time (especially at the elementary level) really boosts the salience of the vocabulary. I took Portuguese and American Sign Language on a whim in my last year of college, and learning one word would always trigger the same word in the other language. Of course, the downside is that you’re spending half as much time on either language. Though I guess if you were getting sick of chomping on vocab lists (as I’ve gotten while studying for the Japanese proficiency test), it would be a welcome diversion : ) Good luck with the French (I’m trying to post bilingually on my blog myself).take care,haitham

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