Exactly. Perhaps unintentionally and without thinking you are trying to speak grammatically and not realising that those you talk to are often speaking pretty poor French. A close friend to whose children my wife and I are "honourary uncle/aunt" has been told that his children have to have extra school lessons because their French, learned at home, is so bad.michael scuffil wrote:It wasn't just CH though. I got a scholarship in Mod Langs to Cambridge and found I wasn't alone in having no idea how to actually speak the languages. I still can't get a sentence of fluent French out, though I can read a French newspaper as though it were the Guardian or Telegraph. All English education in Mod Langs was like that at the time -- for boys, anyway. I did notice that the Mod Lang girls at Cambridge were far more fluent.sejintenej wrote:
IMHO the worst failure in my CH language education (and that of my children and grandchildren) is the failure to actually speak and use the language comprehensively. The exception was Mr Bourne whose lessons were 95% verbal in Spanish.
The major problem, I repeat, is the fear of making mistakes and that affects not only Brits but many foreign and people as well if they have learned in school - the kids referred to above will not speak one word of English to us even though they have done 2 years of school lessons.
With few exceptions people simply don't care if you make a howler. It was long after working for months in a lawyer's office that people told me I was speaking Portunol - a mix of two languages - though I was writing classic Portuguese.