Dear John,
How do I overcome my embarrassment of trying to speak in a French accent?

Whenever I’m reading French aloud in class, I pronounce all the words well, but quickly become embarrassed and switch to a mediocre pronunciation in an attempt to assimilate with my classmates. I feel like I’m being pretentious by using a French “accent”. How do I overcome this?

You know, I used to be THAT guy in French class.

The one who always raised my hand.

The one who always tried to make an effort.

The one who finished my assignments and kept my classmates on point.

And you know what? Out of my 25-person French class, only 3 of us still use French to this day. It’s been over 6 years now.

If you care about what these people think – you’ll never flourish.

My hustling back then has paid dividends many times over. I’m fluent in French, I’ve lived in France, I’ve worked in France, I’ve traveled across France. And if I cared about what others thought those many years ago – I would never have achieved a university degree in French.

Back in 2011, I started a successfully popular website on French-learning. You’re on it right now!

It’s not “pretentious” unless you’re acting it. Emulating a French accent while you talk is the one of the best ways to sound more fluent! I was complimented on my accent just a few days ago. It’s not stroking my ego.. it’s reality! Be proud of your skills and never stop improving :)

Question asked and modified from Quora.

John Elkhoury

Founder, FrenchCrazy

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