All posts filed under: Franglais

A Twisted Tongue

If you have been following along with my language struggles, you will know I profess to know and understand only two words in French. And, to a point, that’s true. But I do also know several very helpful phrases, which I use on a daily basis to get by with, while out and about in the city. But these phrases fail me when anyone launches into a full-on conversation beyond the very basics, and I mean, the very basics. And so it was, I found myself at the Dentist’s reception this morning booking an appointment to see the hygienist in a couple of months time. You would think it simple enough to memorize a couple of sentences in order to fumble my way through asking to make an appointment, and, understanding the responses while providing my own. But I suffer from what I call, “Brick wall syndrome.” In that when anyone says a word I’m not familiar with or speaks too fast for my inept brain to translate quickly enough, I hit said brick wall …

Parlez vous Anglais?

The last time I studied languages, any language, the dinosaurs still roamed the earth. We were offered only one choice at the time: French, French, and yes, you guessed it, French. I have no idea why German, Italian, or even Spanish, were not on the curriculum, the fact of the matter was we were only allowed to learn one other language. Not that I remember that much from those days. I was never particularly good with languages, despite the fact I have travelled, and I mean, travelled a lot. I’ve been to 37 countries over the years and, for the most part, I’ve managed to get by speaking English, a bit of broken German, and a lot of hand waving. But now? Looking back, I guess I should have put a little more effort into learning why l’oiseau est dans l’arbre, and a little less time memorising, voulez vous coucher avec moi? now that I’m living in a French-speaking province. It’s not surprising to learn then that my biggest problem is French verbs. Never mind …