“Which language shall I learn this year?” On language struggles of mobile early-career academics

I never studied French at school. Some years later, in 2015, I came to regret this decision when I suddenly got a chance to move to France. The original stay was supposed to be 15 months. And then two years. Today, I find myself having lived on French soil for over seven years, barely being able to discuss anything in French beyond basic small talk and getting some official business done.