My husband, who speaks French fluently, observed me agonizing over this en, dans, à, feminine / masculine countries, states, regions and cities and he laughed. He asked why I’m wasting my time memorizing trivia that won’t make a difference when it comes to having a conversation with a French person. He says nobody except a French teacher would give a rat’s ass if I made this mistake. It doesn’t prevent understanding or communicating.
The fact that I can’t advance to other lessons that will further my ability to communicate, until I get this glitchy thing memorized, is very frustrating. It makes me afraid to even try to speak, for fear of making this kind of mistake.
Hi Celena, I've sent you an email to respond to this, as there are ways of avoiding certain lessons if you prefer. Please check your inbox. Thanks!
What you describe is a very common scenario for me too! My wife is French, and a qualified French-English translator. I have very good conversations with my non-English speaking brother-in-law - I think I make all the grammatical errors you could make, and fumble through correcting them, but he told my wife he understands 90-95% of what I am saying. Hang in there - it's good to get a grasp of this stuff, but unless you are planning on doing a lot of formal writing, or speaking, most of your mistakes will not hinder communication (and will reduce over time), especially with friends and family. And that is the most important in my view.
Just to add on to what Maarten says: don't get bogged down in the details too much, it kills the joy and motivation. You will get it eventually. Often, this happens subconsciously. Some time down the road you won't even notice that you suddenly seem to get it right. Your brain works in strange ways. Having fun is the single most important ingredient to learning a new language.
I too find it frustrating. I suppose it will come in time but if I stop to think of the correct form I almost lose my train of thought and fumble my way through the rest of conversation so aware do I become of my lack of mastery.
my french friends have no idea about these stupid american regions, if these are states or towns and neither do I
this question is not based on french speaking regions, it is so stupid
Sign in to submit your answer
Don't have an account yet? Join today
Test your French to the CEFR standard