Monday, February 1, 2010

I'm A Girl Genius

Learning a new language is tricky and can be slow going.

The way my French is at the moment; I can understand the majority of conversation and I can speak slowly to certain people. I think the certain people part has to do with feeling at ease.

For instance, I can sit with Papa's Wife and have a full conversation in French. A couple of weeks ago we had a whole conversation about mice in cupboards and lazy cats and dogs that don't do anything about it. I was quite chuffed with myself. But I think it's because Papa's Wife, looks me right in the face and speaks slowly. This is the reason that she is one of my favorite people here, well that and she always fills me with loads of food and wine, but then again, everyone else does as well, so I guess it has to be the talking slowly thing. And it's required, because even when I translate from French to English in my head, that hamster spinning on the wheel in there spins slowly.

Case in point...

Saturday night The Boyfriend and I spent a quiet evening at Papa's house. Just the four of us. Nothing special, just a quiet family dinner. Afterwords, we watched the French version of Who Wants to Be A Millionaire (I'm loving French game shows at the moment, because I'm so freaking smart, I can still answer questions correctly. Girl genius I am).

The way it goes is, I can understand about 90% of the question and so when the choices come up, can usefully figure it out (RE: girl genius). So some question popped on the screen and the main part of it was; 'La Guerre des Étoiles'.

The wheels spins slowly...La Guerre des Étoiles... La Guerre des Étoiles... let's see, la guerre; that's war, and étoiles are stars... the war of the stars... the war of the stars... what war of the stars? When the hell was that? That must have been something involving the Falkland Islands or something. Always some strange war going on some strange little place (apologies to any Falkland Island readers).

And then the multiple choices appeared; D: Chewbacca.

The War of the Stars

Duh

Star Wars

Girl genius I am.

bisou


P.S.
My favorite Irish Uncle will be happy to know that while watching the French version of Password (told you, I'm all about the game shows), the password was tricher (cheat) and I shouted Thierry Henry.

I know you love me :-P


7 comments:

  1. You're doing better than me at this French speaking lark - and I've been here nearly five years. Mind you, I'm a hermit, which doesn't exactly help. Know what you mean about some people talking slowly. Because of this, I'm convinced my neighbours think I'm mentally retarded. Could be right of course.

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  2. Yeah, I think you might be brilliant....I would have assumed that it was some French war that I didn't know about...total ra-tard.

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  3. Girl Genius, indeed. If I saw the same question in Spanish, all of the Spanish I took in high school and college would fail me. Six years and all I've accomplished is, "hace frio", "el pollo" & "muy bien. y tu?" :)

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  4. Girl genius...and of course start-up blogger extraordinaire :)

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  5. Bonjour Sara! Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog. I know exactly what you are going through trying to learn French. I'm having the same problems trying to learn Italian. I've been here 3 years and I still struggle to hold a conversation so you're doing much better than I am. I like watching game shows too as usually they are easier to understand. I lived in France for a year and I liked watching 'A Prendre o a laisser' (or something like that). It was actually quite a boring show but really simple to follow!! I look forward to hearing more about your life in Le Petit Village
    A bientot!

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  6. Immersion is the best way to learn...I wonder how long it would take me to learn a second language? I have this imagine of when we were in Paris in 2000 and my then 5 year old son is watching cartoons all in french...he never even asked what they were saying (of course that may mean there was no purpose in understanding any of it anyway!)...and he picked up words here and there with ease. Me, I was laughing at the cartoons to hear them in another language...oui, oui!

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  7. yep, you're still a genius as far as i'm concerned. it would take me 600 years to learn french.

    at LEAST.

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