Sunday, May 02, 2010

Speaking French

My French is so bad now that it's painful. I feel like I'm speaking with a totally American accent and I'm not using the correct verbs, and aaaaaargh!
There was a time,granted it was 25 years ago, when I could speak French present, passe compose, conditional, future, no problem. I could even understand the subtleties of some French jokes or plays on words. No longer.
I'm fine when I limit myself to ordering in a restaurant or buying souvenir tshirts. I can even request directions and nod my head intelligently when the French person waves her hand, gesticulating this way and that: "A droite et encore a droite..."
But I don't really understand enough to find the place she is pointing out to me.
Visiting friends requires a more sophisticated level of French that has so far deserted me at this point. I find myself laughing at stories that are serious and looking sad at jokes!

We limit our conversations, which of course limits our friendship. We speak in French and English of all the children and cousins and friends. Trying to catch up on everyone's lives, but always lagging a little behind.
I know how to say, "I don't understand" but I don't know how to say, "I just don't get it."


Anonymous said...

Well, I am certain that you are doing better than I am. I finally will begin my French lessons tomorrow night. Husbands French company is very slow to get things done, I suppose it is just the French way. Two nights a week, I am looking forward to just getting out of the house actually. Ha. Glad you are having a blast in Paris.

Paulita said...

Gina, I bet your French is getting excellent just from living it. The frustration level is probably pretty high too though, at least it would be for me.

Anonymous said...

Very funny !

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