rdearman wrote:Serious question for you.
I am curious if you have tried to create an immersive environment for yourself in French? I know it is difficult in an English speaking country, but since your children understand French and presumably your wife, why not make your home language complete French? Only read French news, only watch French films, only read French books, study Norwegian only with French materials, etc., etc..
Sort of like if you were in France and had to use English at work, but the rest of your day is French. In other words stop studying French and start living it.
Yes I have, and for the most part I have been successful.
I have spoken only in French with my children up until 6 months ago when I introduced Dutch every other day. Never English.
If I watch news, it is never in English unless I'm visiting someone or someone shows me something in English.
If I listen to podcasts.... French
If I read a book.... French
If I read the news.... French
If I read about current affairs, politics, how to resolve a computer problem, gardening, a wikipedia article... French
If I watch a movie.... French
If I watch a series... French
My Netflix is set to French
I have a VPN and watch French TV from Belgium, France, Switzerland and Canada.
I own French based courses for Dutch and Norwegian. I was recently using a French based course for Dutch, but because the French based Norwegian course is arguably not the best method to begin with (Assimil) as the accents and dialects vary (as I'm told) across the lessons considerably, I opted not to do the same for NO. Mind you I did attempt to procure a FR-NO dictionary, but in the end have not got around to buying one due to other priorities. I did attempt to find a decent-ish FR-NO dictionary online but wasn't overly impressed with what I could find, but was using google translate at times.
I used to believe French based resources were the only way to go when learning another language. Unfortunately this limits me. The best way to go is to find the resources that you're most likely to use, most motivated to use, most interesting etc but definitely attempt to use French as a base language by default if possible, but not limit yourself to those only, particularly in NO as there simply aren't enough good language courses from a French base (or at least good ones that I would use). I often use an online dictionary to find Dutch words when speaking to my kids. I first use the French-Dutch dictionary, only if I don't know a French term do I go to the English-French dictionary first (to learn the French word) then translate to Dutch.
My wife speaks little French but understands a fair amount of everyday French from the conversations I have with my children. We have often suggested going French all the way with her like I have with our kids... but that is tricky and means changing the dynamics of our relationship in a major way.
Any computer programs, google, OS of my phone, computer etc.. ANYTHING I can switch to French I have done and will do so in future.
I had been in contact with a French recruiting agency in Belgium on and off over recent years. All communication was in French (emails) and a few months back we skyped... I used French only.
Perhaps the only things I could do is get my wife speaking French and start translating ALL of my English to French in my head while working, while speaking with others etc. Mind you I often search medical issues in French too, only referring to English if absolutely necessary (if I get lost, or need clarification).
I think I'm doing pretty well. I have done all this for several years.
Only lately have I let my hair down a little more and given myself permission to back off a little and occasionally watch something in English, but that's not going to last... I have a mission at hand and even if English entered the picture a little more it would never occupy even 50% of the space that French currently occupies, I feel.
Btw, I'm open to any further suggestions, absolutely