I am 16 years old and could speak both French and English when I was very young and was often seeing my family but when I began school in Australia, I stopped speaking French and now I can only understand the general gist of conversation and can barely speak it. I heard this is called a heritage language. I am not sure if I should go about learning the same way as someone learning as a complete second language or if there is a different way of learning considering I should still have the language map in my brain (not sure if that's how it works). I have a French mum to practice with if that is of any importance.

  • I have a French mum to practice with if that is of any importance. It surely does! I was about to tell you that your question is more suitable on the Language Learning site but I see you already posted it here.
    – jlliagre
    Commented Dec 31, 2022 at 10:51
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    How old were you when you stopped?
    – Luke Sawczak
    Commented Dec 31, 2022 at 14:39
  • Hi! Talk and listen. There are 2 questions I like to learn when learning a language : 1- "Comment on appelle ça ?" ie. how do you call this + point to the object. 2-"Comment on dit X en français ?" ie. how do you say X in French, where X is a word in English. With the 1st one, go through every single object in a house or outside, to build up your vocabulary of common things. The second is useful when you want to know how to say something that you can't point to. When you get an answer, repeat outloud. Good luck! Commented Dec 31, 2022 at 16:04
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    Does this answer your question? Are there good tools for learning to speak French?
    – livresque
    Commented Dec 31, 2022 at 23:47

2 Answers 2


That's cliché, but language learning is all about input. Try to engage in conversations or read a book in French, or whatever you like to do. You should try to make the language a part of your life, and use it in a fitting way in your everyday life.


Here are fundamental principles suited to self-teaching.

There is no unique way, but I suppose you would want to write it correctly, and in order to be able to do that, it will be necessary to read as much as you can. If you are lucky enough to have a mother ready to "apply herself to the task" of making conversation to you", your purpose to attain fluency will be well served (but remember that this can be a burden on her, even if she says nothing about it). A knowledge of grammar is not necessary if you read extensively and listen to people speaking French (TV, cinema, etc.); you will not err. However, it is reassuring to get confirmations by means of grammatical principles that you have learned, and you might want not to neglect the study of some grammar. Finely, you shouldn't neglect writing and you should try to do as much of that as you can, putting down to paper your own ideas in French, writing out descriptions, for instance (of course there is a problem, the correction, and you might have to wait quite some while before you can correct your own work); putting your questions to the FSE in French will be a start in your effort; people are there ready to correct your sentences; a great way to learn!

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