I thought I knew French.
At least, I thought I knew it pretty darn well. I’ve been studying it for 7 years, and I’ve had some great teachers/professors during that time.
Then I got to France, and realized how completely wrong I was.
When I’m nervous, or thrown into a situation with new vocabulary (aka all day every day), my French begins to deteriorate. Not only my pronunciation, but my grammar/verb conjugation and comprehension. I keep telling myself “You KNOW better than to conjugate the second verb! Omg why can’t you just do the French “R” already, is it so hard?” And a zillion other things. But when you’re thrown into this whirlwind situation, it’s so, so difficult to do everything at once.
I’m trying ever so hard to make friends with French classmates. It’s, honestly, embarrassing and discouraging when I have to ask time and time again “Pardon? / Je ne comprends pas.” Sometimes accents make it even more difficult. I’m trying the best I can, and I see in their eyes that they’re trying the best that can. This barrier is real, and it’s emotionally exhausting.