I learn French, you learn French


This past week I've been frantically trying to actually learn French. In part because its about fricking time, but mostly because I'm getting taken to see Harry Potter in French tonight I want to be able to understand the words not just see the pictures. I'm a bit of a Harry Potter sad case thanks to a bout of toncilitus many moons ago so this is a big deal for me, you could even go so far as to say it is vitally important for my continued well being. Perhaps a tad over dramatic (and a lie) but its what got my boyfriend to agree to take me. And since he's going to the trouble to drive me to another town to see it we shall all ignore my equally fanatical sister's email declaring the new one to be "fucking shite".

Aside from this vitally important reason, I've also noticed people are starting to get a bit impatient with my inabiltiy to "get it" - as my kind sympathetic friend pointed out this week - I've had 5 years rather than 3 days to try. At least once a day I find myself scrabbling for excuse to why my french is crap that doesn't include me being stupid and lazy. Everyone that passes my vicinty has a story about someone they know who is can speak fluently "With. Out. An. Accent" (French people like to talk staccato to make life more dramatic.) within a year of living in France. To which I must try to reply, red faced and in my thick Scottish accent while fighting the urge to seek out said amazing person and smack them in the face with a baguette for showing me up. It would appear that I'm not - as I previously believed - going to just pick it up. I won't wake up fluent one day or have a miraculous moment where everything just clicks into place. The books must come out and some effort must be made.

So this week the books did come out and I quickly remembered why they had stayed in for so long. Its because its really fucking boring. My most often used excuse not to study is that I'd rather be drawing instead, so I've begun turning my excercise book into a sketch book, and turning my learning into drawings. I've also been writing bitchy remarks about how shite French is in my notes which cheers me up greatly but that's by the by.

I think I'll share my progress with the world (all 3 of you) once a week to motivate me, seeing as I don't take well to public humiliation and that worked so well with the quitting of smoking.

First up..

Three Irregular Verbs That Do My Fucking Head In.




By the way, should you actually learn anything from this (not likely) you can show your appreciation by sending Greggs Stake Bakes to me at Carolyn Alexander, The Mountain What Where I Live, 73210, Franceland.

Similarly, if you should find your knowledge of French actually decrease (more likely) because of this, feel free to send hate mail to imsosorry@carolynalexander.co.uk


carolyn alexander said...

I feel I should point out that its five years of going out with a frenchy, and only one year (and 3 months) living in France. God forbid people think I'm 5 times more stupid and lazy than I actually am.

Lizzy Stewart said...

let it be of some consolation that the majority of the harry potter cast force their lines out so slowly and awkwardly that its not too hard to keep up.

that said i did quite enjoy the film (and confess to being slightly geek on the subject). Have a good evening!

hellojenuine said...

i wonder how i'd find picking up a language if i lived somewhere else. i tend to forget everything i learn, language wise, apart from the odd thing that i am unlikely to ever need to say.

you should still come & see it with me.

Marchi Wierson said...

ok, I feel like I have every french learning book, book on tape, cd, dvd, childrens book, childrens book with music so I can sing along, and rosetta stone on line. I have friends in portland, oregon who speak "france" french and "quebec" french. my boyfriend speaks french too. I have eaten poutine in montreal and french fries in paris. I have been "looking at" french since I was 19. I am now a bit older by many years. And do I speak french? ugh. alor. I can put 3 words together if I am really feeling smart!!! I need to apply myself too. its more of a hobby now, like documenting the behavior of puffins.

I love your blog for many reasons, but one of them is the frenchie thing. so merci bc!

libraryofdigress said...

I hate French verbs; have never been able to understand all of the rules surrounding them. And don't get me started on the feminine & masculine stuff....! I always thought it was optimistic of our French teacher to expect us to understand and appreciate the intricacies of the French language when very few of us could grasp English grammar. We were failed by the school system; that's my excuse for being unable to 'get' French. ;) And also for finding it impossible to know when/where to use an apostrophe with an 's' in English! :-/

nath said...

oh god. well you made me laugh several times. i really feel for you, (i lived in Italy for a while and found it so hard to pick up anything more than very broken italian). and i don't speak french, no, i just cherry pick nice words from the language. hence le petit oiseau. oh no, you weren't thinking i was in some way french were you?

your drawings of those pesky verbs are beautiful.

carolyn alexander said...

Lizzy - haha yes that helped immensely! I'm a tad geeky with it too, which you can probably already tell! My favourite bit was Luna in her Gryffindor Lion hat...

Jen - you probably could, but if you do please don't rub it in my face. I've had enough humiliation already! And I still may take you up on that :)

Marchi - thank you! I think I would prefer to be documenting the behaviour of puffins. Sounds fricking awesome.

Christine - yes! You've just gave me another excuse! Hurrah!

Nath - Merci beau cul! You are too kind!