I should let you know I am learning French. High school was a long time ago and its been awhile since I have needed to focus on my language skills outside of just being someone who likes to use long sentences. Since I arrived in France, I have absorbed a huge quantity of the language and in combination with my leftover bits from high school, I have salvaged my way along, trying not to offend anyone or confuse myself too much. But now it is time. Time to pull on the gloves and jump in the ring. Undoubtedly, I am about to get sacked, taken down, knocked out hard. The little I know made me do well enough on a placement test to not be a total mess…i mean, beginner! But then when the curriculum arrived in my inbox, I could barely figure out where to click to open the damn thing. Granted, French websites aren’t quite the same as American ones, but in general I consider myself pretty savvy. Boy, it was like 1992 in here for a while. Clicking on links that don’t open, trying to understand words that have twelve letters. Thankfully I have my tutor/baking tester here to help me. While we have established that knowing a language doesn’t mean you can teach it to someone, it does permit you to help an American girl read some directions and get moving. There are only so many conversations you can have using the convivial “ça va?”, “oui, ça va! et toi?” and the ever important “ah, bon”, which is like sunglasses in a crowded place. It allows one to listen and respond, pass by as not totally clueless or weird and keeps the conversation moving. It can work for “really?!” or “yeah, okay” or “well, i should really be going”. Which when you break it down, can be the three responses that function in all circumstances.
I plan to start university in earnest in January, so until then i will be talking to myself and using a dictionary more often than i ever have before. But, you have to begin somewhere and this is that place. I have crossed lesser hurdles already, including such fun items as Learning to Drive a Manual Transmission in a Foreign Country, Dollars Into Euros or Another Reason to Cry, and my personal favorite, Farenheit into Celsius or What Kind of Math Equation Is That?!
So, just bear with me while I learn a very difficult language and slowly lose grasp of my native one. Cheers. Or as we say here, Santé!
Next up: Thanksgiving in France….