I have now been practicing French with Duolingo every day for 800 days in a row! This is partly an advantage of being retired; I don’t need to get up and go anywhere first thing in the morning. Cereal, coffee, and Duolingo are my first activities. Partly it is having a reliable study-buddy in Auntie Bridgett.
And partly it is a big, buttery longing to return to La Belle France!
I remember our trip to Paris in 2006, when my ignorance of even basic French drove me to tears of frustration and made for some awkward moments.
It was better in 2008, when we included Angers, Angouleme and Nantes in our itinerary. Having studied with Rick Hughes, I could read the wonderful historic plaques. I could understand the menus and signage at train stations.
But I still couldn’t talk to anyone! French seemed to gallop by while my brain trudged at a snail’s pace.
When we returned a few years later, I had done some Duolingo and studied with Veronique Sepulchre, and I felt more capable. I was still speaking French like a backwards child, but I was speaking French!
And when we are finally able to travel internationally again, I plan to be Paris ready.
La ville de lumiere, je vais retourner!