Saturday 2 April 2022

Je parle un peu le français

Learning French
A while ago I wrote about future cycling goals. I wanted to ride in France and maybe Spain. Our close neighbour is top of my list so I started learning French. 

It's tough going; for the first few weeks nothing seemed to sink in. The last attempt to learn a language was the first three yearsat secondary school. It was German and no-one liked the teacher, so we didn't put much effort into it. I dropped the subject as soon as I could, and like most British people took advantage of English being widely spoken around the world.

A few years ago I did try to pick up a little Spanish when we had a few holidays in Gran Canaria. But it was only while we were in the hotal and didn't get much further than hola, gracias and una cerveza por favor - hello, thanks and a beer please -; not very good I admit.

What progress have I made in the last month? It's starting to sink in, I can recognise words when they are spoken to me. I can read and understand basic sentences, and string simple phrases together. I struggle with masculine and feminine words, the accents when I have to write answers and spelling. 

My grandaughters visited to see how I was doing. Marcelina greated me in French, my mind went blank. Not good; I couldn't even remember "Je suis bein, merci". I did however have "à bientôt" ready when she left. She is multilingual; speaking English and Polish perfectly and learning Spanish as well as French. I don't know how she does it. Actually I do; she is a very clever young lady. My other two grandaughters will be just as inteligent, they are all so quick at picking up new skills.

To save you googling the translations.

Je parle un peu le français - I speak a little French.

Comment ça va? - how are you doing?

Je suis bein, merci - I am fine, thank you.

à bientôt - see you soon.

I try to spend at least half an hour a day practising. It's not yet a habit, I find I'm too easily distracted. I am determined to keep at it. I woud really like to at least hold short conversations with people during my visit next year.