I’ve finally decided which language I want to learn, although I always really knew. Find out more about my love affair with French.

Those of you who’ve been keeping up with my weekly updates will now know the reasons why I want to learn a language and a bit about my inspiration. This week I decided which language I want to learn.

I’ve had something of a love affair with the French language ever since high school. Unlike my peers, French was always one of the subjects that I enjoyed. Looking back, this is partly a mixture of excitement at exploring the language and culture of people I’ve never met and a country I ‘ve never visited, and a very firm but enthusiastic teacher. I don’t doubt that I was considered the teacher’s pet, but this was only down to my own passion and enthusiasm for the subject. My only regret is that I had not benefitted from the chance to learn the language at a younger age, as so many children in Britain’s primary schools now do.

I continued to learn French throughout high school, and I excelled to the point where I was at the top of my class. I consistently achieved the best grades right up until I turned 16, where I was one of only four students who opted to study French as part of my final exams. Unbeknownst to the rest of the year, our small group was rewarded with a short trip to Paris. This was partly to practice our listening and speaking skills in a native environment, and also a morale boosting exercise. This was the second time I had visited Paris, but the first time I had got the opportunity to explore it properly. It was this second visit that confirmed for me that Paris was my second favourite city.

The trip to Paris was exciting, but it didn’t really provide us with many opportunities to actually speak the language. If I’m honest, I don’t think any of us were brave enough to put our speaking skills into practice, but I don’t think many school kids would. Not long after we returned, it was time to take the written exam. We had already completed the speaking exam, which I was pleased with. I was persuaded by my teacher to sit the higher level written paper, as opposed to the intermediate level paper, and I now regret this decision. The exam was so tough, and my final grade reflected it – I ended up with a grade C when I was expected to achieve straight A’s. I felt disappointed and deflated, and this pretty much ended my love affair with French.

Until now, that is. Over the years, I have thought about how great it would be to begin learning French again. I have since visited Paris for a third time with my fiancée, and this was the best of all the visits. Paris is obviously a very romantic city, but more than that, we just enjoyed being able to soak up Parisian life as well as trekking along to all the tourist haunts. I even managed to put some of my French speaking skills into practice when purchasing “deux billets sil vous plait” at the Louvre. The cashier didn’t even realise I was English, which was strange but uplifting! My fiancée thinks my grasp of French is quite decent, and I suppose it is, but I feel like every day that I don’t try to learn the language again is another day where my existing knowledge is depleted. I knew I had to change.

So now you know I want to learn French, come back next week to find out how I began. Remember to leave your tips in the comments below, and follow me on Twitter to find out how I’m getting on.