Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A French Twist

Re-entry after Singapore has not been as difficult as I feared -- at least, not so far. I slept soundly on Sunday night and again last night, and yesterday at work I was only mildly tired. Maybe we weren't gone long enough to hugely alter our biorhythms.

Have I mentioned that I'm taking a French class? Starting in April, on Saturdays, for three hours, I'll be at the Alliance Fran├žaise learning how to progress beyond "Un cafe, s'il vous plait?"

We'll see how it goes. I'm supposed to meet an instructor there after work today to be "assessed" so they can fit me into the proper class. When I applied, I was asked to write a short paragraph in French introducing myself. Apparently I did well enough that they want to find out how much I can speak. But if my "assessment" is a conversation, it'll last about 30 seconds before I hit my limit. My problem is, I know a lot of words -- a byproduct of living two years in Morocco -- but I have no idea how to fit them together and I really have no idea about grammar and tenses and that kind of thing.

I'm also very, very rusty. I have used only basic "Cafe French" on our recent trips to Paris.

I would love to learn how to really speak it -- and now I'm in an environment where I can. There are French speakers all over the school, and we're close enough to France that anytime I want I could pop over there and practice. I'm not saying it will happen, but why not try? I can only get better.

Besides, now that Bleeding London is coming to a close (theoretically) I'll need another weekend hobby!

(Photo: Edgeware Road, North London)


  1. Learning French will be wonderful I'm sure; especially if you are surrounded with people with whom you can converse!!
    Good luck.
    I'll be a little bit sorry to see the end of Bleeding London, I've enjoyed all your photos connected with the project.

    Ms Soup

  2. My mother supposedly could speak French but I never heard her. It always disturbed me though that she called me Mer-dee, I suppose because my little brother called me Mer.
    Even I knew that merde means shit.
    Keep taking pictures!

  3. Good for you! I'll be sad to no longer hear of Bleeding London or see those pictures but French is a great thing to focus on, especially where you are. Love the little shop in this photo, very colorful. Have you patronized it?

    BTW, I will probably not go on Saturday...the parade route is full of potential problems and parking is a bear at the best of times...

    Thanks again for your e-mail.

  4. spanish would be my language of choice to learn to speak fluently. I have a very rudimentary grasp of the language but can only converse (and that's putting it optimistically) in present tense.

  5. Sounds like a great opportunity to me. If was living there I think I would give it a try. However, I think they would have to put me in the beginner's beginner class.

  6. Good for you for learning French! Back at my old church I wanted to learn Spanish (the church was bilingual), but I couldn't conquer my innate desire to not do anything :)

  7. Ms Soup: Don't worry. Plenty of photos to come! :)

    Ms Moon: That IS a curious nickname, though I'm sure she meant it as a funny double-entendre. (If she even realized what "merde" meant.) Nonetheless, I'd be disturbed too!

    E: I didn't eat at the shop, no. Chip shops are notoriously unhealthy, full of fried foods as they are. They're England's version of fast food! Sorry you have to miss out on Saturday. :(

    Ellen: Spanish makes sense where you are! (Actually, anywhere in the U.S.)

    Sharon: It's funny how much you absorb just by traveling. You might be surprised!

    Bug: Do it! They key, I think, is having people to practice with and talk to. If you have that through church, it's a great opportunity!