What you need to know to speak French from scratch

If you’ve never heard of me before, I’m Nathan. I was born in 1991 in Swindon, England to an English speaking family and have lived my entire life in England.

I’m attempting to learn conversational French is 125 days. That’s the date of my wedding. A handful of French natives will be in attendance and since they were all so welcoming to me when I went to Paris, I wanted to return the favour.

Like many Brits, I was “taught” French at school and like many Brits, I can’t say more than a few sentences. It’s safe to say that I will be learning from scratch, or close enough. Of course, I can neither prove that I don’t know any French already nor prove that the French that I was taught at school will have no influence on my future results. All I can say is, by the time I’m finished, I hope to speak French so well that people actually accuse me of cheating. That means I’ve achieved something unbelievable.

I can already speak conversational Polish and since I have surpassed both mine and my girlfriend’s family’s expectations. I’ll be using some of the knowledge, tricks and techniques that I acquired whilst I’ve been learning Polish and will apply it to learning French. My logic is that if I can achieve such impressive results in Polish, a language known to be notoriously difficult for English natives, I should be able to make even quicker progress in French since it’s linguistically closer to English.

I also studied Spanish for a few years at school, but had to drop it in the end because I got such bad grades! I’ll be honest, I couldn’t conjugate a verb to save my life. After taking on a grammar-free approach to learning Polish, I found out that I learned more grammar by not actually focusing on it.

I believe that learning a language is achievable by everyone and am willing to put my neck on the line to prove it. So, here it goes. If I can’t hold a conversation in French for 5 minutes by the day of my wedding, I will donate £100 to Eden Farm Sanctuary. If there’s one group of people that I cannot bear, it’s holier-than-thou vegans who try and force their way of life onto others.

Just to ensure that my results are reproducible, I will deliberately avoid spending any money. Every resource I’ll use will be free and I’ll share with you exactly what I’m using.

Feel free to follow my progress as I detail how my challenge is going and feel free to provide words of encouragement, hold me to account or ask any questions.

I don’t know how to say “Let’s begin!” in French, so I’m just going to say “Au revoir!” and leave it at that.

Rather than post here every day, I’ll come back and update it as I go along. Expect a mammoth post coming your way sometime soon!

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