I have always wanted to learn to speak French, but how to learn another language–that is the question. I became pretty obsessed with the Impressionists around 7 or 8 when my grandmother gave me the book Linnea in Monet’s Garden. Naturally, I wanted to learn to speak French so I could visit Europe and understand what each Parisian was saying as I bought baguettes and wandered in and out of museums.
In high school, I got a bit sidetracked. I took Spanish at the urging of my dad who said it was more practical, and it probably would have been had I actually learned to speak it. But alas, my Southern accent proved a little too thick for my teacher’s ear. “Señorita Green, perhaps you should stick to writing.” Fair enough.
Anyway, I’ve been thinking about it for a while, and I’ve decided there’s no reason I shouldn’t learn to speak French now. I already practically have Brigitte’s hair… right?
An app: I recently came across Duolingo. It’s a free app for iPhone, android, and windows phones that offers lessons in 9 languages including Spanish, Italian, Portugese, and (obviously) French! I’ve become pretty obsessed with it. Simple lessons I can complete in just a few minutes that stay in my head all day.
The best part is that it involves 3 senses: you listen, read, and say new words with each lesson. One study said that 34 hours on Duolingo is equal to one semester (or 11 weeks) of class at a university. Bonus: there’s no teacher giving you the side eye!
An instagram account: A friend recently posted this instagram account called french words. Using simple, beautiful typography followers are treated to a French word each day. Isn’t that fun?
Finally, how about a little music? I’ll confess one of my very favorite soundtracks is The Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood. While I’ve never understood a lick of what she’s saying, I could listen to Ann Savoy sing for hours! Do you think if I listen to enough Brigitte Bardot, I’ll get in the habit of not adding an extra syllable to everything? Perhaps.
Anyway, I’d love to hear if you speak another language. Why did you learn to speak it? &, perhaps more importantly, how did you learn to speak it?