The topsy-turvy way many French sentences are structured is a major handbrake for lazy learners like me.
For instance, you can say: “I gave the light sabre to Chewbacca,” [J’ai donné le lightsaber à Chewbacca] but it’s much cooler to say “I it to him gave,” [Je le lui ai donné ].
If you complain that Chewbacca won’t give it back to you, you have to do it Yoda-style: “He to me it give back will not,” [Il ne me le redonne pas].
Now you are speaking French.
I can be chatting away quite smoothly until I come up against a sentence involving two or three pronouns (I/you/he/she/it/this).
Whammo! I start speaking like someone who has had 14 beers and is trying to name the seven dwarves. Each word is a triumph but there’s a very long pause between each one.
Still, there is beauty and efficiency in these sentence structures – one day I’ll be able to trot them out as efficiently as a five year old French child.
Keep practising, I will.