Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Renovation Project - Learning to speak French

Renovation Project - Learning to speak French

We have had some amazing news today, we cannot say what it is just yet as we do not want to jinx it, but now we not only have a few weeks to finish the house but  also have 3 months to become fluent in French!!!!! (Obviously we are not under enough pressure to finish the house; I need to find myself some more pressure!)

I had been told about a great free website called Duo Lingo, and I sign up, I am doing well until it gets to the pronunciation bit, I still sound like a sat nav, I hear john laughing as I am repeating the same sentence over and over, then over and over with a selection of swear words, swear words do not help! (Well they helped my frustration, just not my pronunciation; I even tried them with French accent to no avail!)
I bring out my Michel Thomas CD’s again and alternate between the two, I am getting better, but not good enough, then I have a break through. I see the little old lady from next door and we have a chat, we do this often as she is so friendly but up until today I don’t think we have ever had the same conversation, I talk, she talks, we smile and laugh a lot but we have no idea what we are talking about, well today it is different! We are talking about the same thing and we understand each other (to a point, but this is such an improvement!).

The language is starting to sink in, one of the big problems I have is that I have nobody to talk too, we do not really go out and when we do it is to visit one of our English friends, I have to get out more and talk to some more French people.

I decide to inflict myself on the ladies (or les femmes!) at the patisserie and try to make small talk instead of just asking for my bread, it’s a little step but a step nonetheless.

We also got to the tip today, this I have managed for some time as these are generally the same phrases, as the scrap yard is next door we call in, I want a metal bracket for the B&B sign, and this seems the ideal place, I manage so well until I realise I have no idea what sign or bracket is!!!! So I continue to talk and use lots of sign language and demonstrations (with an axe, maybe not the best prop!) but she realises what I want and gives me the word. We do not find what we are looking for but I didn’t use any English (other than bugger what is the French word for sign, which luckily she didn’t understand)

My head is aching today, I have maybe done a little too much but I do feel much more confident and I am looking forward to speaking to all of our French neighbours beyond hello, how are you, it’s a beautiful day/its dreadful weather!

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