I felt that learning French would be a daunting task as I had no background with the language, and I didn’t understand a single word. Nevertheless, when my Rosetta Stone French Level 1 arrived, I was eager to dive in. A month and a half later, with about 20 minutes of practice three times a week, I’ve completed Unit 1. By my calculations, this is 5 percent of the way through the entire course (four units per level, five levels in total). Putting my progress in this perspective definitely helps because it tempers my expectations, and I just enjoy learning.
Reading French has proven to be the most difficult part so far, as each word seems to have numerous silent letters. The pronunciation, though challenging, has been my favorite part. The words just seem to roll off my tongue, and I love the sound of the language. Learning from native speakers—having each word sounded out, not just printed in a book—has been crucial to my learning process because I learn each word correctly the first time.
Having completed Unit 1, I gathered up the courage to schedule my first live Studio session. I was a bit nervous at first, but my nerves were quickly replaced with confidence, as I was actually conversing in a language that just one month ago, I hadn’t known a word of.
A few days later, I found myself shopping in Zara in midtown Manhattan (which is packed with tourists this time of year), when I overheard a conversation in French. I was excited, even to just identify the language I was hearing. I was even more excited when I realized that I understood the gist of the conversation! Okay, I’ll admit, it was a basic set of words I was picking up: “this coat . . . red or black? . . . too large.” All were words that I happened to learn in Unit 1. Then I remembered that I’m only 5 percent through the course, and my confidence grew even more as I got ready to continue in my journey.
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