My mother speaks good French. She would say she's not fluent but she's able to translate and say a lot of things that I can't. If ever the opportunity to learn French came up at school my parents encouraged me to take it, from having French penfriends to going on school trips to France.
I've tried saying I will work on my French when IP's at creche. I've tried saying I will have polite conversation with creche helpers for a few minutes. None of it has lasted. So recently I met a couple of ladies who speak French and mentioned learning it to them and they've offered that we can meet up to speak French. They are both on holiday for now but I certainly hope and plan to make use of this in the future.
Thennnn we went to Belgium a few weeks ago for a mini holiday and couldn't watch tv. So we chatted or I went to bed early (I am pregnant and we were busy). I mentioned to DP on our return that it had been nice not feeling like a slave to the tv all night. So we began reducing our tv viewing. We now have a few things recorded during the week but it's very easy to keep up with them (and I'm still debating on Eastenders). My theory was that I don't feel a need to watch them, we never talk to friends about what we're watching so why bother (of course, typical, this week a friend did start talking to me about tv)? So one night a week we're calling 'French night' and we either watch French tv (even just French news) or work on some French, talk French to each other, etc.
Last week was the first time we really tried this and DP loaded an app called Duolingo that I have started using. And I do think it helps. It pops up every day if I don't use it and I can use it on my mobile anywhere, so just a few minutes on the bus or sat waiting...
Then I hadn't had a French lesson for a few weeks due to various issues and my teacher is back this week so I'm looking forward to starting again.
IP started at creche for a variety of reasons (that I think I'll cover in another post) and this week they actually said she's started speaking French. Her first foreign word was 'Adi' which means 'goodbye' in Luxembourgish. Now she finds 'Merci' easier to say than 'Thank you' for some reason. Luckily we haven't had any trouble working out what she's saying so far, so I live in hope that whilst I'll never be fluent at the same pace as her, I may know a decent amount.
Also, most of the time I don't have to speak any other languages. For example, in my apartment building, most people speak English and I don't think there's any Luxembourgish living here. There's various Flemish, French, Spanish and our neighbours are just moving, they are Australian and Icelandic. So if I bump into someone they often say 'hello'. Then I started going to a playgroup where I met a lady that has been hugely helpful and she introduced me to some other friends. All of them liaise in English. One lady is German, one is Dutch, one is married to a Frenchman, another to a man who's half Flemish, half Spanish and my initial friend is English but married a Luxembourger. So there's a lot of different nationalities but they all speak English.
What DP and I have discussed we need to do more of (or certainly I do) is take the next step and actually talk in French for things. Like I should be able to make a Doctor's appointment in French but because they speak English and know I am English they speak English to me.