Monday, February 15, 2010

French for Dummies

While you can undoubtly survive with English in Geneva, French is still the official language and used in most stores and businesses. To truly integrate into the community and feel at home, I feel that it is imperative to speak French (or at least try!). So, in an attempt to do just that, Jignesh and I are a few weeks into a group class that meets twice a week. I never thought that learning a new language would be easy but I did not think that it would be this hard! The pronunciation is proving to be almost impossible. I feel like a tongue-tied giraffe when attempting to pronounce words that sound nothing like their spellings. And the french "r," simply forget about it! On top of it all, there is just so much to remember. Despite the frustrations, we are really enjoying the challenge and are SLOWLY making progress. Thanks to a very good and patient teacher, we have mastered (umm...maybe mastered is a bit of a strong description) some basic phrases and questions. We can also say the alphabet and most numbers. We are even beginning to congugate some verbs. We even had a conversation in French the other day. (Ok, the conversation was with a 6 year old boy and involved no more than 4 words but, hey, it is a start!). There is no doubt that we have a very long way to go and the phrase, "Je ne parle pas fracais," (I don't speak French) continues to be my favorite sentene. As I think I may benefit from daily practice, I may even take a more intensive class after our current course ends. Will I ever become completely fluent in French? Probably not. Will I ever adopt the beautiful French accent? Definitely Not. However, I would love to walk away from this experience with, at the minimum, coversational French. So, with that in french homework is calling!

Au Revoir!

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