Tuesday, 19 April 2011

French holiday

Why do the French speak such good English, when we , who learn French at school, are generally not so fluent, confident or brave? Perhaps I am speaking for myself only here, but I felt ashamed of myself for not being able to converse in French. Partly, I realise, I am scared of making a fool of myself! How ridiculous is that! How I envy the easy way some people pick up a language and I long to be able to do the same. I did take conversational French lessons a few years back, and although I can work out some of what is being said, I cannot understand unless they speak really slowly and give plenty of hand signals and other clues. I stayed with my brother and his French Canadian wife in Ottowa a couple of years ago. His 2 year old daughter could speak fluently in both languages and could even swop half way through a conversation. I gave her a bath one evening, while his mother prepared supper, and had to admit to my young neice that I could not understand her and could she please speak in English for me!

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