When is a pièce not a piece? When it is a morceau. And so went the discussion at the dinner table when I asked "How do you say 'a piece of chocolate'?"
It is these inconsistencies that make it so difficult for me to speak French. Reading comes easy; a few familiar words and context clues aid in making a passable translation. And though listening to French is more challenging than reading, I can usually get the gist of a conversation if I pay very close attention.
But speaking French eludes me. I don't mean exchanging a few lines with the cashier at Carrefour or placing an order at a cafe; I mean real conversation with tenses and articles and vocabulary that goes beyond phrasebook French.
I'm sure much of it comes from a fear of making a mistake--calling something a pièce when it's really a morceau. A fear of attempting to speak the language and failing, as when I
So what about you? If you speak French, how did you learn?