“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”
- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
One of my biggest hurdles in my French-speaking journey has been my perfectionism. In my mind, if I can’t say something perfectly, then I shouldn’t say it all. Thankfully, one of the very first things Carrie Anne James addresses in her lessons is our fear dialogue, and how it affects our fluency. We have to let go of the fear of judgement, and just speak. Focus on the words, and lean into it. The proper accent will come when you’re ready for it. Not to mention, the French find American accents adorable (think Jean Seberg in Breathless). Consistency is key – find ways to surround yourself with the language. Whether it’s film, music, literature, or the most adorable French child telling a captivating story, do what you enjoy most. The more exposure you have to the language, the more time your brain has to absorb the rhythm + syntax, allowing you to imitate the sound. Your imitation won’t be perfect at first…but fake it until you make it! While many would argue there is no such thing as perfection…my endless hunger for it helps propel me forward (in all aspects of my life). I’m just so thankful to have a teacher that keeps me grounded in reality.
** french is beautiful is a regular series – browse the archives here **