Monday, 7 July 2014

Renovation Project - Baptism by fire

Renovation Project - Baptism by fire

Today is an exciting day, I have had an e-mail about doing a property viewing, no problem, the time is arranged, I have checked the time is OK with the vendors, and all is good. The viewer is a French guy, so the main office has made the arrangement.

I have checked that he speaks some English and he does, I'm really looking forward to it.

But then the telephone rings, it is the viewer, he would like to change the time, and his ability to speak English consists of the word OK!!!! I rearrange the viewing, with a new time and date, but then ring the office and ask them to check that I have done this correctly, I have, the conversation was correct, I managed it!!!!!!

I meet the guy the following day and we go to the property, all goes well and there is only one word that I cannot say, no matter how I try to pronounce it, it does not sound right, I eventually have to show him the word in writing, it is environment (in French it has far too many letters and is environnement, but certain letters are not pronounced!!!!!) why didn't I use the word area??? much easier!

But we are chatting and I am able to describe the house.

I am a little taken aback when he grabs his bag and starts to use his divining rods to look for water sources and a metal ball to test for the emotional situation, but it takes all sorts and he appears to like it. So we will have to wait and see.

My head aches by the end of the day, it really is so much more tiring having to speak in a different language, as I am having to translate the conversation in my head from English into French and then from French into English and keep it going as a flowing conversation.

This is actually much more draining than working on the house and that night I am so knackered.

A few tips about moving to a country with a different language.

  • Try very hard to speak the language of your chosen country
  • It is difficult but take your time
  • It's OK to make mistakes!!!!!!!!!
  • The most helpful phrase I learnt was:
           My spoken French is not very good but if you speak slowly I will understand.
           Mon parlez francais ce n'est pas tres bien, mais si vous parlez lentiment, je comprendre

I have written this with no help, so please do not assume the grammar or spelling is correct.

Final tip, keep trying, you do get there

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