Posts Tagged ‘shy’

I have a friend who used to have trouble with French in public places, like in restaurants and shops. People had trouble understanding him when he spoke.

He was frustrated and disappointed by this. He would often ask me afterwards if the way he had said things was correct.

And you know what?

He usually said things close enough to perfect that it shouldn’t have presented an obstacle to communication.

What was going on then? If his French was good, why would people have trouble understanding what he said?

The problem wasn’t his French.

When he started to learn French, he was understandably shy about using it in public at first.

He would speak too softly. It was hard to hear him in public places.

That was the only problem.

But it was a problem that stuck with him long after his beginnings in French. He had become convinced that speaking French in public would always be a struggle, so he continued to be shy about it.

In private with his francophone friends, he had no problem rambling away in French!

When he started using a louder voice, his problems went away. He became confident about speaking French in public.

If you’re struggling with using your French in public, ask yourself a simple question before you assume that your French is bad:

Am I speaking loudly enough?

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