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#27 Don’t worry about learning French slang – its day will come.

As you become exposed to more and more French, either through personal contacts with native French speakers or through French movies and television, you will realize that French speakers use slang, just as English speakers do. And just like our slang, French slang is tied to particular populations, particular regions, or particular eras in history. There really isn’t any need for you to try to master slang (or argot) at this stage of the game. In fact, too much slang – or the wrong slang — can be counterproductive. You don’t want to go into a business meeting or academic interview sounding like a thug, do you? For now, stick to the polite French supplied by your language instruction materials. Eventually, when you are comfortable enough in your French skin to use some slang, you’ll know what kind of slang to use.

#28 Don’t study when you’re tired!

I have a friend who, whenever she takes on a new project, gets up a half hour earlier than usual to work on it. She’s a morning person, and this routine works for her. Me – I can barely drag myself out of bed in time to get to work, but I’m full of energy and excitement at midnight or later. I’ve tried to change my biological clock but I can’t. So telling me to get up a half hour early to study my French would be ridiculous; I wouldn’t be able to focus my eyes on the page, let alone my mind on the lessons. No, the time for me to study is late at night, after the rest of my family has gone to bed and I have the house to myself. When is your best time to concentrate and focus? There’s no wrong answer – just a right and wrong answer for you.

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