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Hi Helen,

I am learning French now and can get by on a daily basis. However, there are times when I get sucked into an intense discussion with French people and feel acutely aware of all the grammatical errors I am making. The locals have been nothing but polite and helpful but I still feel ashamed of my language skills. How can I learn to speak good French quickly?

Regina from the UK

by Regina on 15 Apr 2010
Helen Thrupp

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Dear Regina,

Well done for making the effort to learn French and congratulations on your progress so far - it's a huge advantage to be able to converse with French friends and deal with daily matters successfully.

Sadly there are many expats who choose not to make that effort and therefore miss out on a great deal, so I think it's fantastic that you are willing to get involved in discussions and I'm sure the French people there will appreciate your efforts and won't be judging your ability.

I'm intrigued by your use of the phrase "sucked in" - are you a reluctant participant? It's important to keep getting involved, acknowledge all that you are learning by doing so and not be too hard on yourself - the more you do it, the more your French will improve anyway.

If you want to do somthing extra there are many intensive residential French courses for all levels you could enrol in, for example take a look at this link for course information across France:

The main thing though is to relax and enjoy the company of your French friends. Good luck and if you would like any further assistance please contact me.


by Helen Thrupp on 15 Apr 2010

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