Thank you for joining this weekly meme. Grab a copy of the photo above and link back to An Accidental Blog. Share with the rest of us your passion for France. Did you read a good book set in France? See a movie? Take a photo in France? Have an adventure? Eat a fabulous meal or even just a pastry? Or if you're in France now, go ahead and lord it over the rest of us. We can take it.
As I sit in the living room writing my blog, I can hear my husband on the front porch studying his French. He matches verbs with each pronoun -- je parle, tu parles, il parle... Je suis journaliste.
He learned German in high school, so French is a whole new ballgame for him. He has picked up words as we have traveled to France again and again, but the past few years he has begun to take it seriously with the realization that we will move to France next May.
I joke with him that he will learn French in hardware store as he tries to find the right tool or product. But I know he wants to be able to talk people -- our neighbors, shop owners, waiters.
I'm proud that he is tackling French.
And, inspired by him, and by a new blog friend Roz at Our French Life, I've also been working harder at speaking French. I try to study Duolingo most days, which is a great way to learn vocabulary and the basics of French sentences. I wrote a blog post about it in September 2014.
Last month, I got my nerves up and I joined a Meetup group for people who want to speak French. They met on a Friday night at a coffee shop/bar, and I spent quite a bit of time speaking French with Americans, Spanish, Brazilians, and had a headache by the time I left. I'd forgotten how much speaking another language muddles my brain.
This week, there was another Meetup and I had to force myself to consider going, but I need to learn French better, especially comprehending when people speak to me. Then I noticed that the Meetup was full and a waiting list had formed. On the waiting list, I saw the name of a friend from church who has a doctorate in French.
I emailed her and we agreed to meet at the restaurant and speak only in French for an hour.
That was a challenge, but I know i must do it. I feel like I stumble constantly.
I studied French in high school, minored in French in college and spoke fairly fluently when I stayed in France for three months as an au pair.
After our hour, with my friend feeling free to correct my pronunciation or verb tense, I again felt wrung out, but I know it's necessary to improve my language skills before we move. She complimented my French and said the fact that we were able to converse for an hour meant good things about my abilities. That made me feel better.
How bout you? Do you speak French or another language? How do you keep your language skills strong?
Thanks so much for playing along with Dreaming of France. I really appreciate your participation and I hope you'll leave a comment plus visit each other's blogs.