My first words in English

Updated: March 20, 2021 by Mylene in Stories

master your french the start france canada

This morning I was thinking about what I could share with you. I started a list of a few interesting french words to teach you to pronounce when suddenly I saw my shoes. That made me start remembering my first English words (the word shoes in French is chaussures). It is not the words that I learned in a classroom and repeated at school. I’m talking about the first English words I ever used to ask for something!

“I was gasping for air and I thought I wanted to disappear.…”

Master Your French: A Story

The story of my first words in English goes back to 2012, a few weeks after I moved to Newfoundland, Canada

My husband speaks English very well so I always relied on him to call a cab, to buy a bus ticket, or to call for an apartment visit.

It was easy for me. I wasn’t alone.

Then my husband started working and I was waiting for the work permit papers so that I can start looking for a job.

One day I decided that I wanted to start exercising. I’m sure you know that feeling when you wake up one morning and you say out loud, I want to start running today.

So I took the bus and went to the mall: a big Canadian Mall. Not comparable with the size of the average French malls.

Then I entered a sports shop.

I found the perfect shoes…



I had to ask for the right shoe size.

I was alone this time.

How could I do that?……

In addition, the shoe size system is not the same in Canada and in France…..

I started to convince myself that « Ok I’ll come back later on today with my husband… »

But….seriously? It was a bit humiliating to go back home and ask my husband, after a workday, to come again with me to buy these sports shoes.

This is how I decided to get this done on my own: I HAD TO ask for my shoe size.

I think I was sweating and my face was RED.

I found the seller.

I was gasping for air and I thought I wanted to disappear.

My first English words

Honestly, I don’t remember what I asked for but the seller came back with the right shoe size.

I tried the shoes and OH MY GOD it was perfect. I did it!!!

But Oh NO!! It wasn’t yet done: The seller came back and asked a question.

I just SMILED.

He asked once again…

I just SMILED again. I didn’t understand a WORD!!!

So OK I could get new shoes but I couldn’t understand what he was saying…

That’s it.

I still remember this because it was the first time I pronounced my first English words outside of the classroom.

What about you?

I wanted to share this with you to let you know that I totally understand that communicating in French may not be easy for you today. Maybe you hesitate and you’re still waiting to pronounce your first words with a French speaker in the real world (outside of the classroom).

I understand that these first words in French are the hardest!

Be sure to follow our blog and subscribe to our newsletter and it would be the first step to make your learning french journey easier. I promise YOU.

My question to YOU is to know if you have a similar story? What will you tell to someone in the same situation?